As concept cars go, the 1986 MG EXE-E was tantalisingly close to production possibility. In theory, at least. The idea of a mid-engined supercar to sex up the Austin Rover range came from Roy Axe, who was the design head at the time. He owned a Ferrari 308 GTB in the early 1980s, and thought it might be a nice way of showing off his team’s design talent by creating something similar. The styling came together quickly in the early months of 1984, while underneath, the EX-E was based on the underpinnings of the Group B MG Metro 6R4. It was put together by BL Technology in Gaydon, with the intention of a limited production run. At its launch, at the Turin Motor Show in 1986, the press was absolutely stunned by how incredible it looked – and the public waited in vain for it to go into production. Sadly, that never happened.
WHY WASN’T IT MADE?
No question – this was about money. Austin Rover was concentrating on getting its mid-range cars into production, and the EX-E was not part of the programme. However, as Roy Axe later said: ‘Was there ever a market for this car?’ Limited sales of the similar Honda NSX proved him right.