Fleet News

MG Rover aims range at hard driving user-choosers

USER-choosers with a preference for raw performance and slick handling will make up many of the drivers of the new MG range. But MG Rover's fleet sales director Angus Gray is quick to point out that the cars will not be to everyone's liking, and will not eclipse traditional Rover cars in the fleet market place.

Gray said: 'These models will inject some excitement and dynamism into the driving experience. Not everyone is looking for that. We are putting the fun back into our cars from the sub-£10,000 version of the X30 right through to the V8-engined X10.' He added that Rover struggled to shake off its 'pipe and slippers' image while it was part of BMW, but the new MGs, and particularly the X30, will have greater appeal among younger drivers.

'A whole generation of people has grown up on a diet of 'hot hatches' and GTis,' he said. 'The MG saloons will still have the practicality to carry four people and luggage, but still have the heritage of the MG brand. People will not realise it yet. What happened here was the unveiling of the cosmetic changes to the cars, but there is a lot of serious engineering behind them which won't be demonstrated until people drive them.'

Both the X20 and X30 will be available with diesel engines - but these will be existing diesels from the 25 and 45 range, and not the 2.0 CDT from the Rover 75. But Gray believes the engines will give added appeal to fleet users with plenty of torque and reduced emissions levels. He said: 'Carbon dioxide emissions are not something we've forgotten about. Low CO2 outputs were borne in mind from an early stage, for petrol as well as diesel.

'It will also be interesting to see how people will respond to the idea of a diesel MG, and there was a huge debate about it within the company. The 2.0-litre diesel is one of the most powerful in the sector - its performance is phenomenal, especially when you consider it returns 52mpg.'

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