Tuesday, 10 April 2012
The Rover 100 that'll give a Porsche Boxster S a run for its money
THERE are a great many new motors on the way later this year. Most of which, a mechanic mate of mine reckons, he can easily outrun. In a Metro.
Yes, you read that right; in a garage out in the flatlands of West Lancashire work is underway on turning what was a knackered Rover 100, the Metro's final fling before poor crash test results killed it off, into a bit of a supercar in minature. I know you're probably smirking now, but I'm looking forward to seeing it as much as I am the new 3-Series or the Toyota GT-86. Because it promises, for less than you'd think, to give ‘em both a bit of a run for their money.
The recipe's a surprisingly simple one; take a Metro, making sure it's one of the later ones, remove the Rover K-Series you'll find under its square-rigged bonnet, and then beef up the brakes and suspension. What you then do is fill the hole you've created with the much meatier VVC powerplant from an MGF or a Lotus Elise, which - because it's still a K-Series engine - will slot in perfectly. All you need to do then is finish it all off by fitting a roll cage and decorating it with a nifty paint job of your choice.
The end result might sound faintly ridiculous but consider this; the finished Metro will offer up somewhere in the region of 180bhp in something that weighs about the same as a packet of crisps. That means the final product will offer up a better power to weight ratio than a Porsche Boxster S, which in turn means it should be seriously quick.
Easily rapid enough, I reckon, to lose the pub bet with said car's owner to find something that'll offer the same sort of punch for anything like the same sort of money. I've honestly racked my brains to find a secondhand performance car bargain that'd outrun the modified Metro, and I can't think of anything.
A secondhand hot hatch wouldn't offer the same sort of pace, while you'd struggle to get a slingshot sports car, like a Caterham, without it costing three or four times what the Metro cost. As much as I'm a bit of a cynic when it comes to modifying cars, I honestly can't think of anything that'd match the muscular Metro. If, however, you can think of one, by all means let me know. Only serious petrolheads need apply!
I look forward to reporting later this year whether a Rover 100 that's more Brands Hatch than hot hatch is as bonkers as it sounds. Watch this space...