2004 MG ZT-T 260 4.6 V8 from UK and Ireland
Slightly mad, collectable investment car
Air conditioning radiator disintegrated.
Air conditioning pump failed.
SatNav not working from purchase.
Controls on the steering wheel don't work (radio, cruise control).
Much has been written about the madness of MG-Rover producing a V8 version of the 75/ZT so I won't retread that ground.
I've looked from afar at the ZT 260 since it was announced. I've had a succession of MG-Rovers, including my long term ZS (16 years, so far!) and a Rover 75, but this is my first ZT - I had had a ZT190 on my long-term wish list. I skipped the 190 and got a 260 when the stars aligned for me and this opportunity came up.
This is a car built as an MG-Rover director's company car. One of the good guys there at MGR, I'm happy to say. It's a ZT-T estate, in monogram flip paint, with every option box ticked. Most of those options are still working! I prefer my cars to be understated, so this particular ZT-T is a little out of character!
My car has had a real life for some years, clearly being used as a daily-driver for the first half-decade of its life. Since then it's been kept mostly garaged - MoT'd but driven a dozen miles a year - though sadly neglected and it took me a fair bit of work to get it back to an acceptable standard. Service your cars, people.
Let's go through the car's aspects:
Firstly, the noise. On standard pipes alone, this thing barks. Let's be honest: this is why I bought it. Over a decade of YouTube clips of ZT 260s finally got me.
Comfort and practicality: it's an estate! And the backseat legroom is really good. The seats themselves are super comfortable: I'm a big fan of the MG ZS/ZT seat shape. The ride is surprisingly nice, but then it does have tyres with good sidewalls - much more comfortable that my MG ZS. Also much quieter inside and comparable to my 75, so I guess the ZT kept its sound insulation (the ZS famously is stripped compared to the 45).
Performance: it's quick enough. As everyone says about these: you want it to be quicker. But honestly, get it in the right gear and press the throttle pedal and it does move with haste. Get some sticky tyres (I'm really liking the Proxes it came with, so had new ones fitted) else it'll be wiggling when you hit the power. The traction control is really naff and just cuts power suddenly, not at all like a modern system.
Handling: absolutely sublime. Like the ZS, the car comes alive when pushing on.
The downsides are that I worry taking the car anywhere. The monogram paint is good at the moment, and any damage will be costly to repair. I'd hate to have a ding from someone opening their door into it, or worse to have it keyed for no reason at all. This isn't a huge worry as the car is more of an investment and toy than an everyday car. I'll be garaging it over winter ready for it to come out and play next spring.
Summary: it's fantastically mad. You have to be a little crazy to get the 260, and a lot crazy to get a monogram. But I love it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th December, 2021