Ferrari News – The six best reborn classic cars (List)
Frontline Developments MG Abingdon Edition
The MGs of today are very different to the MGs of years ago. Walk into an MG showroom now and you’ll be greeted by a handful of SUVs, a hatchback and a lifted estate, but from the 1950s to the ’70s the MG brand was built around a range of sportscars. By today’s standards they moved at a near glacial pace, but they were light, simple and honest little vehicles, and even with various mechanical foibles they were plucky, entertaining companions.
As you can imagine a reborn classic MG wouldn’t really work for the MG brand of today, which is why we’re looking to a company called Frontline Developments for the ultimate reimagined MG. The company, established in 1989, takes old MGBs and to all intents and purposes entirely reengineers them, overhauling the chassis (it is baked in an oven at 650 degrees centigrade to remove all traces of rust, filler and paint) and creating all-new body panels to the exact specifications of the originals. The difference here however is that the measurements are exact, which they certainly weren’t back in the day.
Frontline Developments offer two ready-to-go models, the MG LE50 and the MG Abingdon Edition. The LE50 is the less expensive of the two, essentially an MGB built to modern engineering standards. There’s a modern Mazda engine under the bonnet, for example, enough for 217PS (159kW) and 0-60mph in 5.1 seconds. It’s the MG Abingdon Edition we’re going to focus on a little more, however, as its purpose is to deliver the looks and charm of a classic MG but with modern performance.
Named after the MG factory of 50 years, the Abingdon Edition is fitted with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder Mazda engine with 293PS (215kW) and 326Nm (241lb ft) of torque, as well as a six-speed manual gearbox and limited-slip differential (a higher peak power, lower peak torque engine is available too). The result is 0-60mph in 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 160mph. Consider the fact an original MGB would only just top 100mph… To go with the power and speed there’s modern, high-performance suspension and brakes, while on the inside you’ll find a mix of thick carpet, Alcantara and leather. You even get electric windows and a modern stereo, and air conditioning is available as an option.
Essentially you’ve got a car that looks every part the classic but will blow a considerable number of modern cars into the weeds. That sounds like a lot of fun, don’t you think?