Two new versions of the MGF, aimed at extending the sports car’s market, will be launched in February by Britain's revitalised MG Rover Group.

One of the new duo will be the Trophy 160 SE – a boosted-performance derivative of the current 1.8 engine. The other is a reduced price 1.6 version, designed to compete with cheaper rivals such as Mazda’s lower-end models. The 1.6 will sell at around £15,500 compared with the MGF’s £16,800.

The company plans to produce 13,000 MGFs annually from this year, aiming to consolidate the marque's lead in the UK roadster market - a position held since its launch in 1995.

Says MG Rover product development director Rob Oldaker: “The MGF roadster is the icon of the brand and will now have even better performance and handling with the Trophy 160 SE. In addition the 1.6 will offer increased accessibility to the brand.”

An MG racing car, developed with Lola, will also compete at this year’s 24-hour Le Mans event – a move not previously possible as former owner BMW saw MG as direct competition to its own marque.

News source: The Times (London)