I have started this web page to share my experience of Rover 75's with all other lucky owners. It may help with some common problems you can expect from this model.
It might seem like madness to buy a car from a manufacturer which recently went bust - but that simply was not the case with my Rover 75. Even now it represents great value for money and, if you can live with the retro looks, it's good to drive and well put together. Buy a Tourer and you have a stylish load-carrier. And if you find sister firm MG's ZT260 V8, you'll get a bargain that's guaranteed to become a classic.
The Rover 75 started life as part of a group of three new designs for the company under the guidance of Richard Woolley. The initial aim was to re-skin the Rover 600 but following the BMW takeover it was quickly decided that this platform would not be re-used but replaced by an entirely new model. Work on the new model, codenamed 'R40', progressed well with little operational interference from BMW. The classical look become the ideal direction for Rover.
Under the lauded styling was a range of petrol and diesel engines from 1.8 to 2.5 litre sizes. Petrol engines provided were Rovers 4 cylinder K series in 1.8 litre guise and the quad cam KV6, offered in either short stroke 2.0 or revised 2.5 litre formats. The 2.0 litre was later dropped on introduction of the 1.8 litre turbo for emmissions purposes. The diesel unit was BMW's common rail motor, designated M47R. This unit was a mildly de-tuned BMW 2.0 litre turbodiesel, the same core engine being used at the same time in the parent company's 3 & 5-Series models and later found in the Land Rover Freelander from 2001. Transmissions on all models were either the Getrag 283 5-speed manual, supplied from the company's new facility in Bari, Italy, or the JATCO 5-speed automatic unit - one of the first transverse engine deployments made with this feature. Braking was supplied courtesy of all-round discs, complimented with a Bosch 5.7 4-channel ABS system and electronic brake force distribution. Th parking brake was a cable operated drum integral within the rear discs. Suspension was a MacPherson strut arrangment at the front, anchored by lower alloy L-arms. The wide spacing of the mounting points, compliant bushes and a perimeter subframe gave the model a cushioned yet precise ride with relaxed handling that coud be tuned for different markets or model derivatives such as the later MG ZT. The rear suspension, after a period of uncertainty during development, was eventually a version of BMW's Z-Axle arrangement first featured on the 1988 Z1 sports car.
Assembly originally took place at Cowley but in 2000, following the sale of the company by BMW to Pheonix Venture Holdings, production was moved to Longbridge in Birmingham, England. 2001 saw the introduction of the Rover 75 Tourer (developed alongside the saloon but never authorised for production by BMW), swiftly followed by the MG ZT and MG ZT-T, more sporting interpretations of the model, differentiated by modified, sporting chassis settings and colour and trim derivatives. Between 2000 and 2003, there were few changes to the range, the biggest being the 2.5 litre V6 engine being joined by a low pressure turbocharged 1.8 litre, 4-cylinder engine. The introduction of the 'greener' 1.8 litre turbo greatly benefited British company car drivers who are taxed on carbon dioxide emissions. A customisation programme, Monogram, was launched, allowing buyers to order their car in a wider range of exterior paint colours and finishes, different interior trims and with optional extras installed during production.
From June 2002 A factory approved Dual Fuel Petrol-Liquid Petroleum Gas conversion was available in the UK on 1.8-litre 75 models only. The LPG conversion was an aftermarket undertaking approved by MG Rover. Developed by EcoGas Systems Ltd and Landi Renzo S.R.L. in conjunction with MG Rover Powertrain Limited, the conversion was ordered from Rover dealerships, the cars retaining the three-year factory warranty. Also in 2002 the Rover 75 van den Plas was launched at the Geneva Motor Show. Developed in conjunction with specialist vehicle builder S. MacNeillie & Son Limited in Walsall, England, the model was stretched by 200mm in the rear floorpan, with longer rear doors the only visual clue to the changes made. Available only in the Connoisseur specification, production moved to Longbridge after an intitial short run by the coachbuilding partner.
In early 2004, Rover face-lifted the design of the 75 to a less retro, more European, look. Changes were restricted to bolt-on components, with new bumpers front and rear, mirrors, lights and grille. Rover also added a new trim to the range called Contemporary which featured revised fittings. This refresh received mixed reactions from the media but allowed the vehicle to see production continue. The Rover 75 V8 was created as means of proving MG Rovers engineering expertise and to attract a development partner to the company. The car was extensively re-engineered to accommodate a 4.6 litre V8 unit (obtained from Ford and used in the Mustang), driving the rear wheels to give a car with much higher performance, taking advantage of the stiffening tunnel in the body structure. These cars were built on the standard production line, and then removed to allow the necessary structural modifications to be carried out. The cars were then returned to the trimming lines for completion. Just under 900 were produced in both saloon and Tourer (estate or wagon) carrying either Rover 75 or MG ZT trim. The cars had numerous differences to the standard versions, drive train not withstanding, with non standard heating/ ventilation, and brakes and suspension capable of dealing with the extra power. Externally, there is little to indicate what is under the bonnet, other than quad exhaust pipes and a couple of subtle badges, although a large 'V8 grille' was fitted to some cars following the 2004 facelift. They are likely to become sought after as classics. A heavily modified MG ZT-T V8, known as the X-15 broke the speed record for a non-production estate car on Bonneville Salt Flats in September 2003, achieving 225.609 mph (363.082 km/h). The engine was bored out to 6 litre producing 765 bhp (570 kW; 776 PS), but remained normally aspirated.
Since its launch, the 75 has been one of the most popular ministerial cars in the British Government. Various Ministers are driven around in 75s and Tony Blair had access to a 75 Limousine while he was in power, but was never seen in it.
Production of the Rover 75 and MG ZT ceased when MG Rover Group went into administration in April 2005. The Rover 75 design was purchased by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) in early 2005, although the new MG Rover Group owner, Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corporation (NAC) acquired the tooling for the car. Both companies launched revised versions of the 75/ZT in China. SAIC's model was named the Roewe 750 (following the purchase of the Rover brand by Ford, the Roewe marque was created by SAIC for use worldwide) and NAC's the MG 7.
|Engine||No. Cyl.||Fuel||Induction||Power||Torque||0-60 mph (97 km/h)||Maximum Speed||Fuel Consumption||Production||Manufacturer|
|1.8||I4||Petrol||NA||120 PS (88 kW; 118 bhp)||160 N·m (120 lb·ft)||10.9||121 mph (195 km/h)||7.7 L/100 km (37 mpg)||1999-2005||MG Rover|
|150 PS (110 kW; 148 bhp)||215 N·m (159 lb·ft)||9.1||130 mph (210 km/h)||8 L/100 km (35 mpg)||2002-2005||MG Rover|
|2.0||V6||Petrol||NA||150 PS (110 kW; 148 bhp)||184 N·m (136 lb·ft)||9.6||130 mph (210 km/h)||9.4 L/100 km (30 mpg)||1999-2002||MG Rover|
|2.5||V6||Petrol||NA||177 PS (130 kW; 175 bhp)||240 N·m (180 lb·ft)||8.2||137 mph (220 km/h)||9.6 L/100 km (29 mpg)||1999-2005||MG Rover|
|4.6||V8||Petrol||NA||260 PS (191 kW; 256 bhp)||409 N·m (302 lb·ft)||7.0||151 mph (243 km/h)||13.4 L/100 km (21.1 mpb)||2003-2005||Ford|
|116 PS (85 kW; 114 bhp)||260 N·m (190 lb·ft)||11.0||120 mph (190 km/h)||7.8 L/100 km (37 mpg)||1999-2005||BMW|
|131 PS (96 kW; 129 bhp)||299 N·m (221 lb·ft)||10.3||120 mph (190 km/h)||9.8 L/100 km (29 mpg)||1999-2005||BMW|
2.0 CDT fuel consumption can be as little as 5 L/100 km (58 mpg) with average speed of 55-65 mph,
up to 10.5 l/100 km in a heavy city traffic.