On paper, the 2003 XPower SV seemed to have plenty going for it. Powered by a potent Ford V8? Check. Robust Tremec five-speed manual gearbox? Check. It even had a body made from a mix of steel and carbon fibre to help keep weight down and ensure it was sporty, so, what went wrong? Some of the potential was dampened by several issues ranging from its aesthetics to poor fit and finish but the real damage was done by its hefty price tag...

Penned by former Lotus chief designer Peter Stevens, its pronounced wheel arches looked comical at best, but the idea was for MG Rover to create something that had no resemblance to anything that had come before it and, well, they sure achieved that... They wanted to reinvigorate the brand and thought the little coupe — which was actually a dressed up Mangusta — could be their halo model. They were wrong.

The Brits had recently acquired Qvale and based their effort on their existing, and outdated, front-engined V8 sportscar which did not prove too popular back in Italy — and nor would the new XPower SV be in the UK either...

It had pretty good power what with its 4.6-litre motor making 320bhp in entry-level form to go with that bullet-proof transmission, but it suffered from poor build quality and reliability issues however the killer blow wasn’t anything to do with the car itself; it wasn’t given a hope in hell when MG Rover listed it for an obscenely high £75,000. Would anyone pay that when Jaguar and Maserati had better performing and more desirable cars for less money? No. Sales were alarmingly slow and so a hotter variant was hurriedly released, the 410bhp SV-R, with the hope that it would capture the imagination of enthusiasts but it came with an even more delusional price tag of £83,000! You could park the far superior Porsche 911 GT3 in your drive back then for that. Most did.

In total, only 82 were made and when MG Rover went into administration many pointed the finger at the hopelessly expensive XPower SV for speeding up the demise...