The Metro may harbour a reputation for being slow and bouncy, but this Talon-tuned Rover 100 is the ultimate sleeper track car
Calling out any Rover as a performance vehicle remains the automotive definition of an oxymoron. Lazy stereotypes bemoan sluggish performance and age-old owners oozing the pungent aroma of Old Spice. Resulting values for the Viking emblem recently hit an all-time low, making them prime fodder for those hell-bent on tarnishing a patriotic brand.
Culture’s worst offender appears to be the Metro/100 series, suffering an unfavourable repute as Rover’s runt of the litter. Except, if you were to whisper such comments to this Rover 100 track car, it would take you outside for a coma-inducing brawl. What we’ve found here is a Metro on steroids; a genuine track champion capable of silencing critics. Permanently.
More Metro madness!
Built to an incredibly high specification, this Rover is no imposter. Unlike most tuned 100-series vehicles, the owner hasn’t spliced a large engine under the bonnet and hoped for the best. It’s a fully-prepped car with all the supporting modifications to carry maximum power.
The base car was a low-mileage 1.1-litre unit before Talon Sports Cars got their hands on the vehicle. Gutting the drivetrain, engineers planted an MG TF 160vvc unit within the engine bay and coupled the powerplant to a C4 PG1 gearbox from a Lotus Elise. Chucking in modified ZR gear change linkages for good measure, the Rover was also fitted with a Torsten limited slip differential.
The wiring loom was converted with utmost care and a TF160 matching ECU installed to create an 840kg beast, churning out 143bhp, sporting a £1000 custom-made side-exit exhaust, the manifold incorporating a sports catalytic converter. An MG TF radiator was then fitted before technicians attacked the hydrolastic suspension and lowered each individualised displacer unit to 450psi.
Not content with the weight loss, any unnecessary cabin trim was disposed of in favour of a custom-welded roll cage and bucket seats on lowered mounts. Door panels were deleted and the tailgate replaced with fibreglass, paired with Perspex rear windows. The team then set about constructing a bespoke bonnet, also crafted out of fibreglass, to integrate ventilation and secure bonnet pins.
The aesthetic surgery didn’t stop there. Rear arches were modified and fitted with Talon arch covers to allow fitment of 13” slicks or 185/60 profile tyres upon Metro GTI alloy wheels. Stopping power comes from MGF front brake calipers, diamond braided brake hoses and drilled, grooved discs.
Used by the current vendor as an everyday car, the Rover is capable of daily commuting with the weekend track day thrown in. After a recent trip to the Nürburgring, the engine was given a full service, including the fitment of a new clutch, and a brand-new MLS head gasket with new head bolts.
The owner claims the Rover trumpets steadfast reliability, with 275 track miles in the last month. With a stripped-out cabin and custom flat floor, don't expect refinement. The noise will certainly test your resilience, but as a track day car – or a tyre-burning bingo warrior – this opportunity could be a great introduction to track day etiquette for only £3500. Get a closer look at the online auction here.