Rover 75 V8 (2004)
Rover 75 V8
The new full-depth open grille is reminiscent of the archetypal Rover P5B. Like the P5 and other V8-powered Rovers since, the imposing and distinctive appearance of V8 derivatives is matched by a motoring experience that has no peers in this segment of the market. The Rover 75 V8 four-door saloon is derived from the company's much-respected large car platform. Driving the rear wheels, the in-line mounted 4.6-litre engine is matched to a smooth automatic transmission to offer refined yet effortless performance entirely in keeping with the long-distance, no object associations of this famous marque.
Rover's famously comfortable seats have been trimmed in leather, designed to complement Rover's new Light Oak theme on Connoisseur SE, or Dark Oak on Contemporary SE models.
Under the bonnet, the flagship V8 power unit develops 260Ps and 410Nm of torque that is fed to the road through the rear-wheels. Cruise control and traction control systems are standard equipment. The traction control ensures that the considerable torque is deployed to good effect, whatever the conditions, while delivering rapid acceleration up to a top speed of 151mph.
The proven 4.6-litre engine is now mated to a smooth automatic transmission. A new electronic engine management tune and unique exhaust and intake systems provide an impressive combination of refined cruising and an assertive soundtrack under hard acceleration.
The V8 chassis is derived from the acclaimed rear drive MG ZT platform, launched last year. However, substantial revisions to chassis tuning have delivered a more compliant ride without sacrificing the inherent confidence and stability of the basic platform. In keeping with the immense reserves of V8 torque, the chassis has been tuned to deliver a rewarding yet relaxing driving experience.
Rob Oldaker, MG Rover Group's Product Development Director, says: "This new derivative is an impressive addition to a distinguished Rover product range. The car's performance and poise will shorten any long-distance journey, though on arrival occupants will be reluctant to leave the luxury of this sumptuous interior!"
The Rover 75 V8 is the antithesis of the accomplished ZT 260 V8, for while the MG can capably deploy its power for performance and deliver high levels of driver involvement, the Rover is a wholly more refined experience. While the experience of the ZT has permitted the clever installation techniques of the large capacity engine and rear-wheel drive power train to be incorporated within the robust body shell, the change was to produce a car of supreme comfort, refinement and power-in-reserve characteristics.
The Rover 75 V8 utilises the proven 4.6-litre V8 engine, widely used in North America to power the iconic Ford Mustang. Modifications have been made to the Powertrain to assist in packaging the engine while MG's engineers have also developed new intake, exhaust and emissions control systems to ensure the vehicle complies with stringent European noise legislation with no loss of power or torque. A new electronic engine calibration helps ensure the car exceeds current European emissions legislation. The automatic transmission has four speeds and is manufactured in North America.
The exhaust system, twinned for most of the length of the car, has four subtly mounted tailpipes, kept below the rear bumper. Outside the system produces a classic V8 burble, while inside the cabin remains quietly subdued, yet retains the note of a thoroughbred V8.
The Dana Hydratrak® limited slip differential system option, utilises vane-pump principles to ensure continuous and seamless torque transmission to both rear wheels in the event of wheel speed differential.
Steering and Suspension
The Rover 75's steering and suspension systems have evolved radically to match the performance of the V8 power unit. Developed by driving enthusiasts for enthusiasts, the team focused their efforts on honing the car's classic rear-drive handling to provide progressive control under the widest range of conditions. The result is a car that blends day-to-day ease of use with the driver-rewards of a true thoroughbred.
Power steering is now via a new forward mounted rack layout providing excellent feel and driver feedback to the leather-bound wheel.
The geometry of the 75's MacPherson strut front suspension has been tuned to the requirements of the new chassis. A new design of upright is matched to Eibach linear rate springs and a new, larger diameter anti-roll bar. Wheel response is controlled by Bilstein monotube struts, which combine a large piston area for fine tuning resolution with very high bending stiffness for improved camber control.
A new multi-link rear suspension has been evolved from the design created for the ZT 260 V8. A new six-mount subframe houses the rear drive differential, while each wheel is located by three lateral links (two steel and one light-alloy) and a light alloy trailing arm. Compound rate springs, sourced from specialist Eibach, work in conjunction with Bilstein monotube dampers to provide excellent wheel control.
Wheel designs are available in a 17" Star-spoke design with 215/50 profile tyres provides supreme comfort levels, and in 18" with Contisport 225/45 R18 tyres. Both have a unique machine-faced feature.
The Rover 75 V8 has a new H-split braking system providing excellent stopping power. At the front, proven large capacity 325mm ventilated discs and sliding-pin callipers are specified. At the rear a new AP-Racing sourced brake system is specified with 332mm ventilated discs and opposed piston alloy callipers.
A new HEVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning) unit is fitted to the V8. The new unit is a water-blend design featuring a dedicated electronic control unit to drive servo-motor valves to regulate the water flow around the heating circuit. This system has been refined to offer similar levels of response and control to the existing 75's acclaimed air-blending system. All models feature ATC (Automatic Temperature Control), using the familiar user-friendly interface of other 75 models.