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MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - Upgrading ZT 160 to ZT 190

Hi guys.

I understand that it is a simple operation to subtly upgrade a 160 to a 190 am I right in thinking that it is only the throttle body?

Please confirm, Roger this may be a question for you




I think you will find that you will need a set of cams with a different profile!!


Brakes too. 160 has R75 brakes. 190's are much larger!

The set up tool for cam timing is also specific to 190 spec and different to the 160/177. Yet another is used for the 2.0 litre KV6. However these changes really only affect the top of the rpm range the main advantages for power gains, such as they are, comes from a different airbox with an 80mm bore cold air inlet rather than the standard 70mm and the exhaust rear box is changed specifically for the 190. The Siemens EMS controller is a single unit which has the appropriate map downloaded. Whilst reloading upgraded maps should be simple from T4 equipment information to hand says that once a unit has been configured against a specific vehicle it can't be swapped to another even with T4 to access the system.

Overall I have to say that the on paper difference in actual engine power between the two nmodels is in reality far less than the 30ps on paper figure. I firmly believe that it is probably around 20 at most and then the bigest difference is in the top 1000rpm with very little difference elsewhere. What makes the biggest difference to the percieved differences is the vast differences in overall gearing as the 160 has long gearing and the 190 quite short gearing.

Apart from the adoption of the 190 induction differences I would not bother with any others as the effort isn't worth it. If you want a worthwhile increase in performance you need a hefty increase in torque. To this end I would suggest that you need something shown at the Melbourne Motor Show recently and below is a local press cutting...

"An Australian-developed performance kit is headed for England in a bid to finally make the MG ZT into the car many believe it has always deserved to be. Motor Group Australia & Perth Company Sprintex super-chargers are on the verge of signing off on a deal to supply MG Rover with the locally developed units. "We are in the final stages of pricing but 500 of the kits are off to England," Motor Group Australia principal Brad Garlick says.

The deal has grown from a program Motor Group Australia started some 12 months ago to Boost the performance of the MGZT 180. "The idea of giving the ZT a performance more suited to what everyone agreed was a wonderful chassis was first canvassed around the Melbourne Motor Show last year," Motor Group Australia marketing manager Ross Meyer explains.

Motor Group Australia will unveil the ZT220S at the Melbourne Motor Show today with the car on sale from the end of the month. "the aim was to ensure that torque was improved & the delivery of that torque was more suited to a sporty car,"Meyer said. It produces 165kw@64000rpm & 288Nm@4100rpm. That represents a 20% increase in torque & a 25% in power.

The ZT220S will sell for $A69,890 & will be fully new car warrantied. From the Sydney Daily Telegraph. "

I have no idea of the accuracy of the one specific comment of interest to us in the UK.

Roger Parker

Thanks Rog, I knew you would fix this for us!
This is really good news
and could be regarded as a little bot of a secret by those of you with 160's that the car will probably cost less than the 190 new used and running it whilst actually not giving very much away at all in terms of performance.

Personally I would rather have the taller gearing for the motorway. so it looks like a 160 is a cool purchase!!!

I think the Aussie thing sounds interesting but relly the only way to big boogie with the ZT is to go for the V8 version!


I have always been very happy with my 160 in terms of performance, especially since a recent issue was sorted under warranty on the butterfly valves along with software upgrade. FWIW, as I don't do track days in mine, but use it for work a lot, I don't find the smaller brakes an issue, and I have used them hard on a number of occasions on twisty roads. The only time I really yearn for a touch more power/torque is accelerating in the outside lane! At ZT 160 will easily keep up with a ZT-T 190.
A couple of tricks with the 160 V6 is to use Shell Optimax regularly, and to use a quality oil like Mobil 1 or similar.
Since the upgrade software was installed, I have also noticed I use the gearbox less as it is making more torque further down the rev range at 3k rpm. This has made it more relaxing for motorway work and also has improved 3rd/4th gear A/B road driving.
Hope that helps.
Martin ZT

Thanks Guys

I think all ZT's are great

This thread was discussed between 05/04/2004 and 14/04/2004

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