MG, the seminal British brand which has existed (in various capacities – from coachbuilder to full-fledged automaker) for a century, has reportedly got the go-ahead from its new owners Shanghai Automobile Industry Corporation (SAIC – since 2007) to build an electric sports car.
Autoblog reports that the electric sports car, previewed by the 2017 MG E-Motion concept is slated to be ready by the end of 2021. Last year, leaked patent images of the upcoming EV four-seater coupe showed an uncanny resemblance to another British sports car manufacturer, Aston Martin.
Image credit: Motoring.com.au
Under the bodywork, an in-house developed platform houses two electric motors, at either axle to power all four wheels. MG claims a 0-100km/h time of under four seconds, and driving range of 300 miles (482km).
Though MG as a brand is best known (and loved) for its small, fun sports cars such as the MG B throughout the 60s and 70s, the new halo model can draw its roots to the lesser-known MG XPower SV.
A very limited (and somewhat unsuccessful attempt) at a supercar which was based on a De Tomaso platform and was powered by a Ford V8 which delivered 320hp in the SV variant, and 385hp in the SV-R (which featured tweaks by American Ford-tuner Roush).
Less than 100 units of the XPower SV were sold, though the car did feature various racecar technologies, such as a spaceframe chassis and full carbon fibre body. Total production required every XPower SV to visit six different locations before it was completed, making the car very expensive, and it is believed to be the cause of the company’s demise in the mid-2000s.
However, under its new Chinese owners, the MG brand has found a steady footing in China and even Thailand making it one of the fastest-growing international brands in the world.
Its core models – the MG3 hatchback, MG6 sedan, MG HS B-segment SUV and larger MG ZS SUV have been successful in appealing to a younger audience with snazzy designs, cheap pricing, and up to date features.
MG has been long rumoured to re-enter Malaysia with a local partner, with initial reports dating as far back as 2016. However, in Jan 2019, an MOU was signed between MG owner’s SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle Co. (SMPV) and Berjaya Corporation to explore the business case for the production, assembly, distribution, and after-sales operation of the brand in Malaysia.
Will we see the return of the MG brand in Malaysia, after a 15-year hiatus, only time will tell…