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Aussie power for MG ZT

Supercharged: The MG ZT220S adds about 20 per cent worth of power and torque.

MG finds a local solution for zipping up the MG ZT sports sedan

8 Jul 2004

THERE’S some added zip being added to the Australian range of MG ZT performance models – about 20 per cent worth.

That’s because MG Rover Australia has revealed a locally developed supercharged model dubbed the MG ZT220S, which goes on-sale this month.

With a power output of 165kW at 6400rpm and a peak torque rating of 288Nm at 4100rpm from the Rover Group 2.5-litre KV6, the 220 is about 20 per cent up in both terms over the standard ZT190.

That car produces 140kW at 6500rpm and 245Nm at 4000rpm. The auto version, the ZT180, produces 133kW at 6500rpm and 240Nm at 4000rpm. Both manual and auto versions of the 220 have identical ratings.

The price, naturally, also goes up, with the supercharger kit developed by Western Australian firm Sprintex adding $9900 to the recommended retail cost of the ZT range, which starts at $56,990.

The addition of the supercharged ZT makes sense in Australia, where the standard range has been lauded for a fine chassis but not for engine performance, which is regarded as adequate rather than outstanding.

The supercharger kit is available for both the ZT sedan and ZT-T wagon, but MGRA is out of stock of the latter and currently debating if and when it will start up sale again. The sedan has accounted for virtually all ZT sales, which are running at a little over 10 per month this year. The 220S is forecast to add about five sales per month to that total.

The ZT220S is the start of a rush of new product from MG Rover Australia, with the updates 75 range debuting in August (including a turbo-diesel), the facelifted ZT in September (including the rear-wheel drive ZT260 V8), the hot hatch MG ZS180 in October and the Rover 75 V8 either at the end of 2004 or start of 2005.

And in a case of reverse export, the locally developed supercharger could be taken up by MG Rover in the UK, which is currently evaluating the kit.

"The standard ZT is an outstanding car, with very good power delivery combined with magnificent handling characteristics. With its well-regarded chassis dynamics, we felt there was a tremendous opportunity to further enhance the vehicle’s overall performance," said Michel De Vriendt, managing director of MG Rover Australia.

"The Sprintex Supercharge development program has allowed us to do this. Not only has power and performance been improved, overall acceleration has been enhanced. The ZT220S manual will reach 100km/h from a standing start in approximately 7.1 seconds, on par with other European sports sedans that retail at higher costs. The automatic will be able to meet this same milestone in approximately 8.3 seconds."For homologation and warranty reasons, complete tuning kits will be fitted by qualified Sprintex technicians prior to delivery to MG Rover dealerships. All ZT220S models will be covered by a three-year/100,000 km warranty.

49 center imageThe Sprintex conversion includes a fabricated inlet manifold, which replaces the original unit, secondary fuel injector, control ECU, boost bypass valve, mounting brackets and a twin screw supercharger. Manual versions are also fitted with a higher rated clutch to ensure optimal power delivery.

On completion, all vehicles undergo calibration of engine and (auto) transmission on a vehicle dyno. The operation of the supercharger is then checked with a full quality control inspection.

Each vehicle is then signed off, and an individually numbered identification plate is attached, the vehicle details are logged into the Sprintex database, which includes the chassis identification number.

Sprintex Superchargers is a wholly owned subsidiary of Australian Automotive Components and was established over 25 years ago in the United Kingdom. The company relocated to Australia in 1987 and has been producing and developing its patented twin screw supercharger for clients around the world.

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