Two-seat TF to cost more than a Mazda MX-5 when it reaches showrooms this September.

MG’s new owner, the Nanjing Automobile Corporation (NAC), has set the price for the reborn TF two-seat roadster. With deliveries of the first new TFs promised for September, the company has said they will cost £16,399 on the road.

NAC say that the TF boasts a new look, upgraded engine and design refinements over the previous car, which was last available new in 2005. As then, the car has its engine immediately behind the seats, driving the rear wheels. At 1.8-litres and 135bhp, its size and power are competitive. Its nearest rival, Mazda’s MX-5, has 1.8 litres and 123bhp or 2.0 litres and 139bhp.

But the TF comes in over £600 dearer than the MX-5, although NAC says it will be the better equipped car, including leather seats, a Pioneer stereo and parking sensors. Just one MG will be available initially, the LE500. And, as the name suggests, an initial batch of 500 are currently being built at the former MG factory in Longbridge in the West Midlands. NAC says it has recruited 50 dealers to sell the cars and wants more.

The car’s revival has suffered a series of delays, some blamed on problems with suppliers. In April NAC merged with China’s biggest car company, the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), and it is thought this has spurred the project on.