The show saw the manufacturer reveal the MG ZT XPower 385, a super-saloon based on the Rover 75, that accelerates to 60mph in less than 5 seconds, and charges on to a top speed of 175mph, thanks to a 385bhp, 4.6-litre V8 engine. The rear-wheel drive saloon will go into production in the middle of next year, with sub-£40,000 pricing.
But the ultimate halo over the MG Rover ranges will be cast by a supercar codenamed the MG X80, which has evolved from the Qvale Mangusta that MG Rover acquired in June.
This goes on sale next June, and will be powered by a 4.6-litre V8 engine, with power outputs ranging from 260bhp to 385bhp. 'Entry level' models should cost less than £50,000. The first three weeks on sale of MG's Z range (including the MGF) indicate that these performance derivatives will account for about 25% of the manufacturer's sales.
Recent months have seen fleets such as Compass and John Menzies return MG and Rover to company car choice lists.