Time to celebrate 10 years of the Zed series

Posted on August 2, 2011 by


The Imperial War Museum at Duxford, Cambridge, played host to more than just old aircraft on Sunday.

Not yet classics but by no means modern either, the Zed series from MG Rover has, believe it or not, been going for 10 years now.

Enthusiasts swarmed from all over the country to celebrate the birthday of the series that, at present, finds itself caught between the classic MGs and the models from the new Chinese owners.

The ZR, ZS and ZT models were released back in 2001 with the sceptics saying that the sporty counterparts of the respective Rover variants would not be successful.

Luckily for these budding classic car owners the sceptics were wrong and today there are still around 90,000 of the Zed series still on the roads in the UK.

Now you may be thinking, ‘this is all well and good but how long can these cars survive without MG Rover?’

The answer, it seems, lies with the modern MG-mad owners (myself included) who have strived to not only create strong networks of fans with good vehicle knowledge but through XPart, the distribution service set up after the fall of the old owners.

With their help the natural decrease in models year on year is, in some places, as low as 2.7%. The company has also started to produce new components for the vehicles that are no longer available, all helping to keep the cars on the roads.

So if replacement parts won’t be a problem what’s left to consider? Not enough grunt? How about the ZT 260? A 4.6 litre V8 Mustang engine means you won’t be disappointed when you put your foot down; not to mention the fact that there are only 510 left on our roads yet prices range from £3,000 to £10,000, much cheaper than a similar aged Audi S6. Sure the massive engine only develops 258bhp (over 400 when supercharged) and the fuel consumption is not likely to please Greenpeace but there’s something about seeing that Mustang badge on the engine that makes you feel pretty special.

Once again an American engine in a British car has resulted in something worth shouting about; and that’s exactly what you’ll be doing when our roads are cluttered with humming electric cars and you overtake them all in your V8-powered MG.

Time will tell if the Zed series will be able to become as iconic as classics like the MGA to C, Midget and the RV8 but if the first 10 years are anything to go by then it sounds like a safe bet.

Watch this space…

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