However, the engine was the respected aluminum Rover V8, previously used in the MGB GT V8. A limited-slip differential was also fitted. The interior was built to luxury standards, featuring veneered burr elm woodwork and Connolly Leather. Performance was good, with 190 bhp (142 kW) at 4,750 rpm and 060 mph (96 km/h) in 5.9 sec.
Largely due to the rear drum brakes and rear leaf springs (perceived to be too old fashioned for a modern performance car), the RV8 was not popular with road testers at the time. However, this did not prevent the RV8 from being a moderate sales success, and it paved the way for the introduction of the modern MGF a few years later.
It also capitalised on an interest in British products in Japan. A sizeable chunk of MG RV8 production went to that country.
Source: Wikipedia MG RV8 Article.