MGB GT supercharged: red version by Pininfarina
MG began offering the MGB GT V8 in 1973 powered by the aluminium block 3,528 cc Rover V8 engine, first fitted to the Rover P5B. The 193 lb⋅ft (262 N⋅m) of torque allowed it to reach 60 mph (97 km/h) in 7.7 seconds and go on to a 125 mph (201 km/h) top speed. Fuel consumption was just under 20 mpg.
By virtue of its aluminium cylinder block and heads, the Rover V8 engine weighed approximately 20 kilos less than MG’s iron four-cylinder. Unlike the MGC, the V8 that provided the MGB GT V8’s increased power and torque did not require significant chassis changes nor sacrifice handling.
Both chrome and rubber-bumpered GT versions of the V8-powered MGB were produced by the factory with production ending in 1976.
MG never attempted to export the MGB GT V8 to the United States. It chose not to develop a left-hand-drive version of the MGB GT V8 although the Rover V8 engine was offered in US-bound Rover models.
The P6 3500 was withdrawn after 1971 from the US and the Rover 3500 SD1 only introduced in 1980 (its engine equipped with power-sapping emissions equipment) so that during the lifetime of the MGB GT V8 the engine was not being built in a federal version. Abingdon built seven LHD models, sent them to America to achieve certification, and brought them back to the UK to be sold to mainland European countries.