MGF/TF Model History

Click for help...Click for help...

- Original MGF: 1.8i and VVC (1995-1999)

Launched in 1995 as two models- the 1.8i and VVC, which possessed power outputs of 118 bhp and 143 bhp respectively. Standard equipment levels were good for the class of car: remote central & dead locking; passive arming immobiliser and remote activated perimetric and volumetric alarm (earning, in 1997, Thatcham Category 2 security status); electric windows and heated door mirrors. The VVC added further to this standard spec to include electrically assisted power steering (EPAS- which was to become standard on the 1.8i in 1998), ABS and half leather interior trim.

Original MGF 95-99

- Abingdon LE (spring, 1998)

The first MGF special, limited-run edition, based upon both the 1.8i and VVC. The car's more luxurious specification included full (beige) leather upholstery, beige soft top and unique paint colour, Abingdon Green. Other cosmetic extras include an interior and exterior chrome pack- chrome ashtray and lighter, chrome exterior door handles and stainless steel grilles. Also standard, and first seen on this car, were the 6 spoke 'Abingdon style' 16" wheels, fitted with Goodyear F1 (214/40 R16) tyres. The 16" wheels were soon to be found on the options list for all MGFs and have proven an extremely popular design!

Abingdon LE

- 75th Anniversary LE (March, 1999)

Launched as a celebration model to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the MG car company (1924-1999). The specification of this model mirrored in many ways the earlier Abingdon LE with unique colours (Mulberry red and solid black) with leather and the fabric hood in a contrasting colour (black on red cars, red on black cars). Chrome interior and exterior highlights were as per Abingdon LE. Interestingly silver was a colour option offered in some markets (but not the UK). The 75 LE came with Multispoke design 16" wheels, and with either 1.8i or VVC engine options.

75th Anniversary LE

- Mk2 / MY2000 MGF (1999-2002)

Autumn of 1999 saw the launch of the improved 'Model Year (MY) 2000' MGF models, that are also known amongst MG enthusiasts as the 'Mk2'. The cars incorporated a number of detail improvements aimed at eliminating some of the earlier car's weaknesses, including re-specified EPAS, double skinned petrol tank and detail changes to the cylinder head location and gasket design. Cosmetic and specification changes were few- what there were was aimed at improving the ambience of the cabin- with the only external changes being the painting of the windscreen surround in body colour where previously it was painted black, and the change of colour of the front indicator units from orange to smoked-clear lenses. Thus the cars received new seats designed to improve comfort and lateral support; the door trims now included an alloy insert (or wood as an option), the centre console was redesigned with an alloy theme incorporated (such as the gear lever surround) and improved switch gear. The heater controls were now silver painted. Controversially, the instrument dials lost their 'MG' logos, and the cream faces changed for silver items with a new italic type face. Compensation arrived in the form of an improved six-speaker stereo, with a pair of speakers beind the occupants' heads.

VVC models retained their improved specification over 1.8i models. Where the 1.8i received new 8-spoke 'Minilite-style' wheels, the VVC received a new 16" 6-square spoke design.

MY 2000 1.8i
MY2000 Interior

- MGF Steptronic* (2000-)

Introduced a little after the MY2000 models, the Steptronic cars received a technically advanced continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). This autobox includes a 'F1 paddle-shift' gear selection mode, that makes the gearbox operate as a six-speed sequential gear box. The gears can be selected either by the gear lever (push or pull) or the selector buttons on the steering wheel (pictured opposite). Unfortunately, this gearbox is only available with the 1.8i engine, as the gearbox has an input speed limit that is inadequate for the engine speeds that the VVC engine is capable of.

Performance figures are broadly lower than the standard manual 1.8i (although it is argued that this car is at least as fast in the real world), whilst trim specs are close to VVC levels.

* - Steptronic now known as Stepspeed.

75th Anniversary LE

- The Wedgwood SE (July, 2000)

The first limited edition based upon the MY2000 MGF. Following the successful formula struck by earlier limited editions, the car comes in a unique-for-MG colour, Wedgwood blue, and its improved standard specification includes leather seats, CD player, chrome interior and exterior accessories and 16" Multispoke wheels. This particular SE also possesses a rear deck spoiler- the first MGF to come so-equipped with it as standard.

Wedgewood LE

- Trophy 160 (May, 2001)

So named because the re-tuning of the engine resulted in its VVC engine producing 160 PS (158 bhp). Possibly the most exciting and most comprehensively re-worked MGF special edition so far. The mouth watering spec includes lowered and stiffer suspension, AP racing 'MG' branded red coloured 4 pot brake callipers acting on significantly larger front brake discs, a new aerodynamic package consisting of front splitter and rear deck spoiler and that aforementioned engine.

Other features include bold new colours- Trophy Yellow and Trophy Blue, a new style of 16" wheels and re-styled front head lamps. The interior has body coloured centre console and door trim inserts, plus coloured high-lights on the seats. Sure to be a classic.

Trophy 160

- The MGF 1.6i (May, 2001)

Launched somewhat quietly at the same time as its bigger, louder brother, the Trophy 160. Designed to compete at the other, cheaper end of the roadster market, the 1.6i competes head on with the similarly sized Mazda MX-5 (Eunos). Compared to the 1.8i, the car is de-spec'ed: no central locking, no volumetric alarm, no radio, no power adjustable mirrors, no fancy trim inlays for the doors. The car is meant to be cheap fun. Despite the capacity deficit, the 1.6 K-series is a ballsy rev- happy engine. Such is its effervescent character, one doesn't notice the performance deficit! In other words it succeeds in its aim- it's fun!

MGF 1.6

- The MGF Freestyle (Autumn, 2001)

The last swan-song of the 'original' MGF before its radically face lifted replacement arrived in February 2002. Equipped with the cosmetic up grades already found on the MGF Trophy 160, the Freestyle thus came fitted with a Trophy-style front bib splitter and rear deck spoiler. The car also rides on 16" wheels, although this time using the familiar 'Multispoke' wheels featured on previous special edition MGFs. The Freestyle does without tuning upgrades found on the Trophy 160 or that car's superlative brakes, and as such is essentially based upon the standard model 1.8i and VVC.


- The MG TF! (February, 2002)

This car represents a dramatic stylistic departure for the MGF and includes a huge number of engineering changes. These include a new suspension system (the car is now sprung by coil-over damper units with a brand new multi-link rear) extensive body strengthening, and a new faster 2.8 turn lock to lock steering rack to name but three. The interior style is practically identical to the earlier MY2000 model, but now offers more colour choice and material options. In many ways, the new TF deserves a new name, although the 'T' prefix has caused some raised eyebrows in MG enthusiast circles.

The TF

21st June 2002, Rob Bell

- The MG TF Sprint SE (July, 2002)

A limited run of 600 cars based on the TF135 and TF160 models.

The Sprint comes with a number of optional extras as standard:
Gunsmoke Alcantara and black leather seats, Smokestone dash and door panels, front fog lights, chrome pack and a coloured hood (grey, blue or green depending on body colour). The 135 also comes with sports pack 2 (ABS, uprated brakes and eleven-spoke 16" alloy wheels - all standard on the TF160).

The TF Sprint SE

Last updated - 26th September 2002, Paul Lathwell

- TF Cool Blue SE (March, 2003)

Based on the TF115 and TF135 models.

Cool Blue interior features include: blue Alcantara seats (which look superb), a Momo leather/alloy gear knob, leather steering wheel, wind stop and ash grey dash/trim.
Exterior wise the Cool Blue comes with a blue hood, chrome grille pack, front fog lamps and the popular six-spoke 16" alloy wheels first seen on the Abingdon LE. Sadly the use of these wheels prevents fitment of the bigger MG/AP brakes as found on the TF160.

The Cool Blue SE is available in a choice of three exterior colours: Trophy Blue, Starlight Silver or Anthracite.

TF Cool Blue SE

- TF Sunstorm LE (October, 2003)

A limited run of 500 cars based on the TF115, TF135 and TF160 models.

Available in three exterior colours: Raven Black, Nightfire Red and Starlight Silver, the Sunstorm comes equipped with a body-coloured hardtop transforming the car into a snug and stylish coupé for the winter. All models have a black hood.

The Sunstorm comes with a familar line-up of extras: leather steering wheel, Momo leather/alloy gear knob, bright pack and front fog-lights. The interior is a combination Smokestone coloured dash/trim and Gunsmoke Alcantara®/ black leather seats.
All three models come with the 16" 11-spoke alloy wheels and MG/AP Racing disc brakes fitted as standard to the TF160.

TF Sunstorm LE

- TF 80th Anniversary LE (January, 2004)

A limited run of 500 cars based on the TF120 (Stepspeed), TF135 and TF160 models.

This latest limited edtion TF marks MG's 80th year and is clearly distinguisable with its '1924 MG 2004' embroidered seats and bootlid badge. Three colour variations of this stunning model are available, new Pearl Black, Starlight Silver or the new Goodwood Green.

Both the Black and Silver variants have a contemporary design and are finished off externally with a new Burgundy Red hood. Interior wise things remain equally stylish with combination of Ash Grey trim and Grenadine Alcantara/black leather seats. A bright-finish console, door casings, gear knob, handbrake grip and silver inset steering wheel add a contrasting finishing touch.

The Goodwood Green model is far more traditional in style with it's matching Tan Hood and interior. Inside the Black Alcantra/tan leather seats are a refreshing change from the more usual cream/tan combination and work well with the wood effect console, door inserts, wooden gearknob and wood/leather steering wheel.

All 80th Anniversary LE models have: a windstop, CD player , chrome door handles, front fog lamps and 16" 11-spoke alloy wheels with a new ‘shadow chrome finish’.

80th Anniversary TFs

Black/Silver Interior


Last updated - 15th March 2004, Paul Lathwell