MG MAESTRO TURBO
Introduced October 1988 – limited run of just 505 cars
The MG Maestro Turbo was a high performance reaction to the growing band of 16 valve hot hatch cars of the post 1986 period. In fact, a Maestro Turbo was part of the production plan back in 1984, but the development cars were said to be ‘too fast’ and only the Montego Turbo appeared during that period. Events though, saw the model resurface, this time though with a beneficial and very individual body kit.
The Maestro Turbo was first shown in a low key way at the Birmingham Motor Show in October 1988 to a surprised MG world. Essentially the car was a standard MG Maestro into which the Montego Turbo drivetrain and suspension was fitted, to create the fastest production MG to date.
Whilst the ingredients were simple off the shelf items the mixing was finalised by Tickfords which also included them developing and manufacturing a one off 5 piece body kit, the heart of which was very bold front and rear bumpers. The front carried integral Lucas driving lamps and rather large side ‘TURBO’ graphics.
Cars were assembled with other Maestros at Rover’s Cowley facility before being shipped to Tickfords Bedworth plant for application of the bodykit and graphics. They were then returned to Rover before being despatched to dealers. 500 were commissioned, although Tickfords records indicate 505 (including the 1988 Motorshow car) passed through their facility. This was made up of 215 red, 149 green, 92 white and 49 black cars. Although regarded early on as a future classic there are probably less than half still in existence.
Brief technical specifications…
Drive: Front wheel
No of cylinders: 4 in line
Capacity: 1,994 cc
Bore & Stroke: 84.5 mm x 89 mm
Valve operation: Single ohc, two valves per cylinder
Fuel system: Garret T3 turbo through single SU
Max Power: 150 bhp @ 5,100 rpm
Max Torque: 169 Ib/ft @ 3,500 rpm
Transmission: Type: 5 speed manual
Front: Independent McPherson strut, lower wishbones, coil springs, anti roll bar
Rear: Semi independent torsion beam axle, trailing arms, coil springs, anti roll bar
Brakes: Disc front, drum rear with servo assistance
Steering: Rack and pinion, power assisted
Wheels: 5J x 15.
Tyres: 185/55 R15
Performance: 0-60 mph; 6.7 secs
Max Speed: 132 mph
Fuel comsumption: 22.2 mpg
Price new 1989: £13,529
Faster than a Ferrari
Austin Rover made this claim as part of the marketing campaign for the MG Maestro Turbo in 1989. The MG Maestro Turbo could reach 0-60mph in 6.7 seconds whereas the entry level Ferrari Mondial only had a 0-60mph time of 7 seconds.
When launched the MG Maestro Turbo was the fastest front wheel drive car available in the United Kingdom.
Below are some performance figures taken from Autocar & Motor, 10th May 1989
|Top – Mean||129||208||5150|
|Top – Best||131||211||5250|
|4th – Mean||122||196||6000|
|Standing 1/4 mile, 15.4 secs at 90mph|
|Standing km, 28.4 secs at 110mph|
|Acceleration from Rest|
|Acceleration In Each Gear|