The West Surrey Racing team, who run the works MG in the British Touring Car Championship, were out last week at Thruxton testing with a new four cylinder engine.

Though MG have not confirmed any involvement in the 2004 British Touring Car Championship, and driver Warren Hughes has left the squad, WSR were at Thruxton testing with other BTCC teams.

Previously the MG has used the six cylinder KV6 motor, as race developed by Advanced Engine Research, and though it has been described as the 'sexiest sound in the British Touring Car Championship,' it looks like that powerplant's future is limited.

The K2000 four cylinder engine is a race evolution of the ubiquitous K Series engine, drawn out to a 2 litre capacity by Engine Developments Ltd, John Judd's motorsport engineering company.

The K Series is an exceptionally light unit, so if MG do decide to take part in the British Touring Car Championship they could well have an advantage against the seemingly all-conquering Vauxhall Astras and the threat of the Honda Civic Type Rs.

Young gun Colin Turkington was behind the wheel for the test, and the driver who notched up his first BTCC victory last year in an MG was very happy with the new motor.

"It's great to get back in the driving seat and put the car through its paces. The MG ZS was already a very good handling car, but this has improved it even further," Colin explains on West Surrey Racing's website.

WSR engineered a solution to get the K2000 into the MG ZS Touring car in six weeks, and WSR team boss Dick Bennetts was pleased with the results. "We were very encouraged by this first run with the engine having completed over 200km with no problems," he told his website. "The main advantage the K2000 gives us over the KV6 is a substantial weight saving and engine bay packaging."

Due to its construction, the K2000 is a featherweight powerplant and the team at Engine Developments have been working on the unit through last year.

"We have been working on this project for some time as we have a great deal of interest in the engine's potential in various categories of motorsport," John Judd explains.

The K2000 motor certainly has good provence as it currently has a 100% race winning record having won its first race, the EERC Britcar endurance race at Thruxton in September last year.