Designed for the user-chooser sector, the new versions of the ZT saloon and ZS hatchback will combine the sporty appearances with lower-output engines in the opening shots of a campaign to improve the firm's fleet performance.
Each car has been created to fill areas not presently covered by the current line-up and could eventually lead to MG Rover achieving up to 45,000 annual registrations with fleets, corporate sales manager Peter Milner said.
He said: 'The power of the brand is one of the major motives for purchase in this sector and the most desirable cars we make wear an MG badge. The appeal of MG is one of our best-kept secrets and I intend to change all that.'
Standing on wide tyres and distinctive 17-inch wheels, the 120bhp 1.8-litre ZT will be targeted to win 7,000 additional upper-medium sector sales and will carry a £15,995 price, while the 110bhp 1.6-litre ZS – to cost £10,995 – is expected to generate 2,000 extra registrations.
Milner added: 'Since I joined the company last September, we have been investigating how we can achieve higher market share without introducing brand new models. It was obvious that we weren't represented in the £15,000-£17,000 sector, which accounts for 140,000 sales each year, so the ZT is our response.
'This is just the start. We're continually analysing the market to make sure we have cars in the right position to take our fair share of the business. My long term aim is to develop corporate sales to the point where they account for between 40,000 and 45,000 annual registrations just by making specification changes and price positioning to meet the fleet requirement.'