MG (then owned by Rover Group) began production on this car in 1992. By producing new body panels, they set out to create an updated version of the old car. The suspension was only slightly updated, sharing the old leaf spring rear of the MGB. The boot lid and doors were shared with the original car, as were the rear drum brakes. However, the engine was the 3.9-litre version of the respected aluminum Rove 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 seconds. 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.