Gerry McGovern
MG Enthusiast|February 2020
When the MGF appeared, in 1995, it marked a return to the market for MG sports cars. MG Enthusiast caught up with the man responsible for the car’s styling.
CRAIG CHEETHAM

A return of a ‘proper’ MG sports car had been mooted for a long time, after the MGB’s demise in 1981, but it would be another 14 years before a two-seater drop-top once again wore the famous octagon.

Developed on a shoestring budget by Rover Group engineers, the ‘F’ used as many parts as possible from the existing parts bin, including the K-series engine and a platform made up of two Metro subframes, with interconnected Hydragas suspension - not the most obvious choice for a sports car. Its mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout made the MGF great fun, while its styling certainly bore cues from MGs of old.

In the MGF’s 25th anniversary year, MG Enthusiast spoke to Gerry McGovern. the man responsible for its looks. He is currently design chief at Jaguar Land Rover and has been in the news a lot lately for leading the styling of the new Land Rover Defender.

Prior to his time at JLR, McGovern styled a number of Rover Group cars including the R3 200 and Land Rover Freelander as well as the MGF. Here’s his story of the MG sports car’s return.

MGE: What were the key design themes with MGF and how do you feel that you and your team executed them?

GM: As I remember, it was a very small design team, certainly nothing that compares with the design organisations of today. However, there was a passion to create an MG sports car that was modern, simple and fun

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