When MG Rover went belly-up in 2005, one of the things that disappeared with it was the magnificently brutish MG XPower SV. It was a big-hitting carbon-fibre-bodied coupe whose options list included no less than six engines, with power ranging from 239kW to an astonishing nitrous-boosted 700kW.
However, while the wreckage of MG itself was boxed up and shipped to its new owners in China, Nanjing Automobile Group, the rights to the MG XPower brand were snapped up by British ex-racer William Riley in 2008. Now, under the stewardship of Riley, the SV has been reborn with a few notable additions - and one significant deletion.
As you can probably tell from the pictures, the SV (or more correctly, the MG XPower SV-S William Riley Convertible) is without roof, instead sporting a simple manually-operated cloth soft top and 12kg of additional chassis reinforcements to limit flex. A removable hard top also comes with each car for when less weight and more protection is required - or if you just think ragtops are for girls.
But you'd be a fool to mistake this as being anything but a brawny, masculine car. With a 5-litre Roush-supercharged V8 delivering a 0-100kph sprint time of just 3.8 seconds, the SV-S WRC is no lightweight. Even the non-supercharged version is neck-snappingly quick, with 313kW blasting the lightweight convertible to 100kph in a very impressive 4.6 seconds.
However, for those who prefer posing and cruising to dragging and drifting, there's also a far less complex (and thus cheaper) fibreglass-bodied model equipped with a 3.5-litre Ford V6 on the way, which will be available as both a convertible and a coupe.
Costing around ??40,000, MG XPower expects to sell some 700 of the povvo-pack SV's during the first year of production, with sales increasing to 2000 the year after. A tad optimistic? Definitely, but considering the full-fat supercharged flagship will cost somewhere in the region of ??87,000 when it launches next year, there's a good chance the base model will find more favour amongst buyers who lack the coin - and the cojones - demanded by the SV-S.