After 15 years, the MG TF roadster is set to bow out as the company gears up for a new era with the MG6 and MG3 supermini.
Production of the TF at Longbridge in the West Midlands has been fitful since it was restarted in 2008 under MG’s new Chinese owner. But the final production car could have already been shipped to dealers.
“There’s a discussion as to whether that was the last batch,” said a spokesman for MG, referring to the production run of 155 cars earlier this year. “It’s always been on the cards. We can’t say for sure, but it’s largely driven by market forces.”
Originally sold as the MGF, the two-door was launched in 1995 to a public already won over by roadsters such as Mazda’s MX-5. With Rover-developed Hydragas suspension providing secure handling, the mid-engined soft-top dominated sales in its class.
In 2002, a major facelift saw the Hydragas set-up dropped in favour of conventional coil springs, but the clean design – the work of Gerry McGovern, who is now at Land Rover – remained largely unchanged.
In 2008, after a three-year break, production restarted at Longbridge, with the TF using Chinese-built shells and engines. It halted again in 2009. Sales have been sluggish, but this allowed the plant to gear up for the main event – the MG6 hatch, which is being produced there now ahead of the launch in March.
An MG6 saloon is due to follow, with further models in the pipeline. They could include the new MG3 supermini, set to debut at the Guangzhou Motor Show in China at the end of December.
The MG3 is based on the Zero concept, which impressed visitors to the MPH show in Birmingham and London earlier this year. It’s powered by 1.3 and 1.5-litre engines. Bosses are still planning a TF replacement, though, with a spokesman saying: “There will be a new sports car, but only once the brand is re-established.”