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rover_75
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Remember the car in this photo, first seen in Autocar? It was published not long after the formation of the newly independent MG Rover and was claimed to be a ‘scoop’ of a prototype for the forthcoming 45 replacement. The truth is, the photo was taken at the MIRA test track by someone from MG Rover and ‘accidentally’ given to Autocar by an company insider, presumably in an attempt to show the world that post-BMW Longbridge wasn’t just twiddling its thumbs and was working at full speed on a new medium car.

My question is, what happened to the car in this photo? Did any of the ex-MG Rover people here work on it and know of its fate?

More intriguingly, did the car even exist? The front end seems to be pure Rover 75, cunningly lathered with disguising bin bags to make it seem more mysterious. But when you look again at that sloping rear end – one rumour said it was cut down to test packaging on the new medium car, though surely you’d do that on a buck not a full car? – there seems to be some slight weirdness to the pic that might suggest digital image manipulation skulduggery.

Anyone know if this was a real car or simply a normal 75 wrapped in black plastic and carefully Photoshopped to look like an early prototype of the 45 replacement, thus giving the impression that work was progressing well on that car?
 

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Interesting question - I'd heard that it was a put up job by MGR, creating some mystery, but it would be interesting to hear what exactly was underneath.
 

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The back end and shadows do make it look very photoshop'd.
 

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That's easy - that's the BMC 1800 as modelled by Matchbox! (see attachment).

Do I win that food which is beyond price in China - a nice loaf of bread? ;)
 

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I think it was a Prius with a few tweaks....



There were reports of a Prius at Longbridge that, if I remember correctly, we thought was related to the hybrid TF. Maybe they decided to use them in a little subterfuge....
 

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Thats an easy one !! Its an RDX60 Simulator.

There were a few built by TWR down south. The ones that came back were put into storage in the new building that would have been used for Mini, as far as i know they are probably still there !!!
 

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Interesting, because if I recall correctly the picture was published about 6 months after MGR was formed. I wasn't aware that TWR was involved in things that early.

Regards

John
 

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I'm sure it was during '04. I think there were rumours at the time it might be a cut down 75 or a Proton.

or simply a normal 75 wrapped in black plastic and carefully Photoshopped
It certainly looks like the back end has been photoshopped out due to the whiting around the cars rear, and a faint line of the old 75 saloon rear window under the bin liners, but then you would expect MGR to use a production body on a mule and not necessarily altered either (even if so, the 75 might keep the rear pillar).

JT mentioned MGR had only done test mules, but that could mean anything from lightly tweaked or hacked production cars to disguised shells containing a lot of new stuff.
 

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It was definitely early on in MG Rovers ownership, probably mid 2001ish. I can't check for definite, as I'm not at home. I have the copy of Autocar that it was in.
 

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It was definitely early on in MG Rovers ownership, probably mid 2001ish. I can't check for definite, as I'm not at home. I have the copy of Autocar that it was in.
Yup, late 2000 / early 2001 rings a bell. From memory it was also in either What Car? or Car magazine as well.

Regards

John
 

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I think it was a Prius with a few tweaks....



There were reports of a Prius at Longbridge that, if I remember correctly, we thought was related to the hybrid TF. Maybe they decided to use them in a little subterfuge....
Unlikely, the Roofline / Windscreen is different, plus it has 75/ZT wing mirror's and Door handles....
 

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Hmmm.... i remember reading something a long time ago about a 25 or 45 replacement. Could it have been an early 25/45 replacement 'aka' Proton Gen 2?

 

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Hmmm.... i remember reading something a long time ago about a 25 or 45 replacement. Could it have been an early 25/45 replacement 'aka' Proton Gen 2?

The tail is right, but I think the roofline is wrong. If you look above the leading edge of the front door the Proton follows the doorline closely, while the Rover does'nt.
 

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Looks OK apart from that awful front end, seems too close to the front wheels as well. Might look a bit different with more sporty alloys than those R75 rims...
 
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