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This seems to be a question that pops up from time to time so I thought I'd post these links to two useful pictures.

http://www.mgfcar.de/epc/2449.htm
http://www.mgfcar.de/epc/2461.htm

These are what you'd see (if you could) from the front of the car but, if you can reverse them in your mind as you look through the grill with the boot open, you can see very clear differences between VVC and non-VVC. Note that not all VVCs have VVC on the plenum chamber, as shown in this picture. Some are plain casts with some minor details different to those shown.

One for the website, Pete?
 

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That doesn't really help too much for the TF though as the 135 has that same manifold as the 160. Plus many have fitted the VVC manifold to the non VVC in the expectation of gaining perfomance.

The second camblet cover over the gearbox end is the biggest indicator that cannot really be faked easily.

Nice idea for a thread. There were some images on the Powertrain site of both engines out of the cars which would help.
 

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Easier still the rev counter will "red line" at about 7200 on the VVC instead of 6700 in the MPi and the chassis no in the window will have a T as the 8th letter , or is that just F's.
It's a reasonably common mod to change the plenum on the MPi to a VVC one.
 

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Worth compliling a list of all visible differences?
 
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