Marking 100 years of Rover and 80 years of MG, Britain's ailing MG Rover will introduce three brand new coupés to mark the milestone.

Marking 100 years of Rover and 80 years of MG, Britain's ailing MG Rover will introduce three brand new coupés to mark the milestone.

There will be an MG GT hard-top derived from the TF convertible, a hotter version of MG's latest performance car, the SV-R Club Sport, and a two-door version of the Rover 75 saloon.

The company's design team wanted to mark 100 years of Rover with a design that would spark the imagination of a new set of buyers. The Rover 75 Coupé concept is a fresh interpretation of the existing 75 saloon.

Finished in a brilliant shade of red, the car is characterised by the long, sloping bonnet and short, streamlined rear end. Chrome inserts running along the shoulder and surrounding the window frames accentuate its profile. On the inside, the sumptuous interior, finished in Tan leather and Yew wood, provides a welcoming cabin.

Peter Stevens, Rover's design director, said: "I want people to turn away for a moment from post modern brutalism and to enjoy the elegant and timeless lines of the 75 Coupe's design. The true character of a Rover comes from its ability to present a cosseting environment with comfort and refinement being the high priorities, elements that should be expressed in the form and detailing of the exterior of the car.

"Heritage is a great strength for a marque as it gives you the terms of reference and something to build on for the future. That is exactly how we saw the challenge of presenting a Rover concept in its Centenary year."

The SV-R Club Sport is available in Europe already following its Geneva launch this year and is fitted with a 5,0-litre, 287 kW V8. The remaining concepts are true production possibilities, which MG Rover will apparently explore in the coming months.

Meanwhile, Rover's Longbridge factory will shut for an extra eight days over the Christmas and New Year period. The three-week factory closure comes as the company tries to cut stocks of its unsold vehicles and consolidate some of its losses - MG Rover is R854-million in debt.