April 16, 2002
MG Rover Group to supply engines for CART racing series
Long Beach, California – Officials from MG Rover and Championship Auto Racing Teams announced a new engine supplier relationship for the CART FedEx Championship Series for 2003 and beyond. The announcement will bring the famous MG brand and its winning motor racing heritage to American open-wheel Champ Car racing for the first time in the marque’s rich history.
The new engines will be branded with the MG Sport & Racing banner ‘MG XPower’ and the race cars will carry the famous MG logo. The MG Rover effort is collaboration between the manufacturer and Engine Developments Ltd, the builder of JUDD racing engines. The “XV” power plant targeted for CART Champ Car competition is being jointly developed by both groups and uses basic architecture from the existing JUDD V8 and V10 engine family, the V10 version of which powered the winning car in this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona in the hands of a winning team of drivers that included CART regular Max Papis.
An extensive re-design currently being undertaken on the V8 will effectively produce a brand new engine designed specifically to suit CART’s new engine regulations that call for 12,000 rpm limits and other enhancements unique to the FedEx Championship Series. The “XV” is targeted to produce well over 700 hp.
“I am delighted to be involved with the USA’s premier motor racing series, and our association with the highly successful Engine Developments Ltd will enable the MG brand to once again be brought in front of the thousands of fans following the CART series,” said Rob Oldaker, Managing Director of MG Sport & Racing. “This complements our European Motorsport activities and will allow MG XPOWER to become truly global.”
MG Rover is the first manufacturer to officially confirm participation in CART under the organization’s new rules that call for 3.5-liter V8 racing engines commencing next season. Additional manufacturers are expected to confirm participation in the coming months.
After a recent rebirth with new designs and technology, MG is making a serious effort to promote its performance cars. To establish the marque as a performance leader, MG has renewed itself on the motorsports scene. The manufacturer recently stepped up its efforts in three categories (British Touring Cars (ZS), World Rally (ZR) and FIA Sportscars (Lola EX257/MG) to prove its legitimacy as a leader in automobile performance and technology. They are coining their new performance sub-brand as XPower, which they feel will bind together and symbolize all of MG Sport and Racing’s activities.
Established in 1921, MG (Morris Garages) Cars are Britain’s only independent sports car brand. Today, MG Rover Holdings is an independent, medium-sized British company, with a focus on the development of a fully integrated automotive business. The company was formed following the purchase of the Rover Group from BMW in May 2000. MG Rover Group designs, develops and manufactures cars at its Longbridge, Birmingham site in the UK. In total, MG products are sold worldwide in 70 markets, with approximately 50 percent of sales to export territories. Worldwide distribution of automobiles spans the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, South America, South Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia/Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa.