MG Rover approached Ian Richardson (aka Wildcat Engineering) around 1998 to work with Janspeed to develop the V8 engine for the MGF Bonneville Land Speed project EX255. Rover engineers figured the car would need excess of 600hp to reach 255mph.
In 1998 two scroll superchargers were used in the first configuration. These were changed in 1999 for two Garret turbos which worked better on the 4.8 litre V8 engine. Ian developed what became known as the Turbo Rover V8 engine block in collaboration with Rover (see Turbo Block below).
The MGF project EX255 as displayed at British Motor Museum, Gaydon UK
As Ian was working with Rover, he took the opportunity to have engine blocks cast which allowed the bore size to be increased to 4-inches. Initially he produced prototype 4-inch bore blocks to test the idea. These prototype cylinder blocks were referred to as Red blocks (see Red Block below), while the production 4-inch bore engine blocks became known as Yellow blocks (see Yellow Block below). All these engine blocks look very similar to the Rover V8 production engine blocks on the outside (see Production P38 Block below).
These reinforced engine blocks were designed for turbo and supercharging applications and have a bore ranging between 94.04mm (3.7″) bore and 96.52mm (3.8″) depending on boost pressure. They have six fixings per cylinder. There is more material around the cylinder bores to withstand the higher cylinder pressures of a boosted engine, cross-bolted plus there are water ways surrounding each cylinder bore for additional cooling.
This prototype engine block allowed the bore to be increased to 101.6mm (4-inches). This is one of a very limited number of these experimental blocks produced by Wildcat Engineering to test the theory of increasing the capacity to six litres. Redesigned cooling, cross-bolted and six fixings per cylinder were also included.
These reinforced blocks featured a 4-inch bore which allowed the capacity to be increased to six litres, redesigned cooling, six fixings per cylinder, cross-bolted and a totally re-designed lubrication system.
Production P38 Block
These cross-bolted engine blocks were used in the 4 litre and 4.6 litre Rover V8 production engines. They were the strongest production engine blocks produced by Rover and are a good basis for a performance engine build.
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