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In 2005 the MG EX264 was the latest in a long line of technologically advanced and aesthetically pleasing racecars to emerge from the Lola factory in Huntingdon. Over 8000 hours of CAD development work went into the design of the car, while some 260 hours were spent in the windtunnel to perfect the car's aerodynamics.

In its original configuration, as raced in 2005, the EX264 was developed in association with MG, RML and engine specialists Judd. Based on the Lola B05/40, itself a comprehensive redevelopment of the successful MG EX257 sports prototype, the EX264 was immediately eligible for the ACO LMP2 class at Le Mans as well as the Le Mans Endurance Series (now Le Mans Series) and the American Le Mans Series. The MG EX264 complied with all the regulations and technical specifications of th day.

Although visually similar to the Lola B05/40 racecars, the RML car is correctly designated as an MG Lola EX264. (Not, as has been contrived by some, an "MGola", which seems a cumbersome name for such a svelte and nimble car!). Under the skin it features many significant differences that stand it apart from its Lola-badged counterparts. Many of these stem from the way RML continued development of the previous MG EX257 after acquiring the ex-factory racecars and campaigning those in 2003 and 2004. Much of that on-going development was too valuable to be lost when the current B05/40 chassis was released, and with the blessings of both Lola and MG (at that time still in operation), many of those innovations were carried over to the new car. Several months before the demise of MG Rover, the new RML racecar was fully homologated as the MG EX264, and it proudly carries the MG octagon to this day.

The chassis is an all-carbon fibre monocoque, with symmetrical twin rollover hoops. This is encased within a stunningly good-looking bodyshell constructed from pre-preg carbon fibre with a honeycomb core for additional rigidity. This meets the revised aerodynamic requirements introduced during 2004 and means that the EX264 is likely to remain at the forefront of prototype racecar technology for many years to come. The rear wing and underbody are also of lightweight carbon composite construction.

The front and rear suspension uprights are fabricated from aircraft specification steel and TIG welded. These elements link via double fabricated steel wishbones with pushrods and rockers to three-way adjustable damper units.

In 2005 the car raced with a specially-developed MG V8 powerplant, created exclusively for the EX264 by Judd. Normally aspirated, this unit took the car to a class win at Le Mans in June 2005 and proved both reliable and strong, rarely missing a beat all season. Having enjoyed fantastic support from Judd all year, it was with considerable regret that the team found it necessary to change engines for 2006, reverting to the turbocharged AER 2-litre engine that had previously powered the team's EX257s. Not only did RML already have several of these engines "in stock", but over the previous two seasons the AER unit had proven itself exceptionally reliable, fuel efficient and responsive. It made sense, both financially and in terms of race strategy, to make the change. As was subsequently demonstrated by a second consecutive class victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours of June 2006, the change proved to be a wise one.

The engine is mated to a Lola six-speed sequential gearbox with semi-automatic paddle shift system. A back-up manual gear-change system is also installed. When first introduced, this back-up required that a driver with paddle-shift problems made a 40 second pitstop to initiate the changeover. However, the final refinement merely demands a very brief moment of free-wheeling in order to affect the switch, so the car does not even have to stop. Two starter motors and paired alternators are fitted for reliability, lightweight magnesium castings are employed extensively throughout the car, and braking is by 355 mm diameter carbon discs.

In 2007 Lola introduced the revised B07 chassis, and made available an updated aerodynamic kit for the earlier B05 and B06 chassis. RML carried out extensive testing and back-to-back simulations on both configurations, and employed the revised "07" body kit at high downforce circuits, such as Valencia in Spain. For the Le Mans 24 Hours the low-downforce "06" kit was employed.

The EX264 is fitted with a fully-integrated computerised dash/data logger system with steering-wheel mounted display, The military-specification wiring loom is installed directly to the inside of the monocoque for protection, access and reliability.

The technical specification listed below relate to the car as prepared for the Le Mans 24 Hours in June 2005, fitted with the MG V8 engine. For the specification of the EX265, please click this link: MG Lola EX265. Distinguishing between the two is made easy by the presence of the air intake between the roll hoops on the V8-powered car, and the single periscope inlet to the side of the cockpit on the turbocharged EX265.

MG 3.4 litre V8, developed by Judd
Approximately 540bhp
Top speed
In excess of 200mph
6-speed semi-automatic sequential via paddle-shift
Carbon, push type
Aluminium water radiators and heat exchanger
One piece carbon fibre monocoque
Power assisted rack-and-pinion
Fabricated steel double wishbones
355mm x 35mm front and rear, Carbon fibre discs, carbon fibre pads
Forged Magnesium Fronts 18"x12.5J, Rears 18"x13J
Michelin. Fronts 300/650-18, Rears 310/710-18
Length, 4534mm; Width, 1990mm; W/base, 2790mm; Weight, 750 kgs min
Fuel, 90 litres, Oil (dry sump) 10 litres

These specifications are subject to change and were correct as of June 2005