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Engine: 1588 cc twincam inline 4 cylinder water cooled. Bore/Stroke: 75.39 x 88.9 mm. Compression Ratio: originally 9.9 to 1, later 8.3 to 1 Max Horsepower: 108 bhp @ 6700 rpm. Max Torque: 104 lb/ft at 4500 rpm. Fuel Delivery: Twin semi-downdraft 1.75" SUs Transmission: Four speed manual. Synchromesh: Top three gears. Clutch: Single dry plate. Frt Suspension: Independent coil and wishbone with lever arm shocks. Rr Suspension: Live rear axle, half elliptic leaf springs with lever arm shocks. Wheelbase: 7' 10" Track: 3' 0" Width: 4' 9.25" Brakes: Lockheed 10.75" discs front and rear. Wheels: 15x5.9 inch Dunlop center-lock steel disc Tires: 5.9 x 15 inch. Performance: Acceleration 0-60: 9.1 seconds. Top Speed: 113 mph. Fuel Economy: 26 mpg. Number built: 2,111 (coupe and roadster)
The MGA twincam was announced in 1958, and was very exciting for the company. MG engineers were frustrated with the lack of output they were getting with the overhead valve engines so they turned to a twincam design, with the idea that it would get MG back into competitive racing. Those engineers did an extremely good job as the engine was a purebred racing engine and cut around 6 seconds off of the stock A's 0-60 time. Other features included DeLuxe seats, spin-on disc wheels, a different hood with more of a curve to it, and a leather covered dashboard. The car was a competition car, no doubt about it. Unfortunately, average owners weren't quite as happy to put up with the twincam's rigorous maintenance schedule and voracious appetite for oil as racers might have been. The high-performance nature of the engine caused it to overrev (destructively) and burn holes in its pistons. It also needed the highest octane racing fuel available. These problems were corrected in early 1959, but by then the car had a bad reputation and it was soon after killed off. At the time, only hardcore sportscar fans and magazines like Road and Track mourned its loss, but in modern times, the MGA Twincam is revered as one of the most valuable MGs. Concours condition examples can claim as much as $20,000 or more when for sale. Strangely enough, engine production and chassis production were not coordinated, so some chassis were left over after engines ran out. These were fitted with standard overhead valve engines and proclaimed "DeLuxe models." They are harder to find than the Twincam cars and make better driving cars because of their greater reliability.