11 week gestation period for race car

The brief to Mayflower Vehicle Systems by Rover’s chief designer, Gerry McGovern was to produce a lightweight, track-capable ‘Mille Miglia’ race car, based on the MGF bodyshell and 1.8l supercharged development engine. The new car, MG EX254, would use aluminium panels and carbon fibre materials in addition to a high power engine. It would utilise reinforced front and rear sub frames, uprated brakes and suspension system and seam-welding reinforcement.

In less than a week, the main frame infrastructure of the project was in place, the clay model had arrived, and the donor vehicle had been stripped ready for work to commence.

Tooling methods varied according to the complexity of the body panels concerned in some cases it was possible to use the existing pressed steel tools. The boot lid was pressed in this way, although a special clinching method had to be developed to secure the lid outer to the boot lid inner.

Styling improvements to the bonnet, front and rear fenders meant that new tools had to be made to match the clay model.

Ten weeks and four working days after the original brief the MG management team saw the completed vehicle and gave their approval. The total weight saving on the production model was approximately 62kg.