This is the MG CS concept, the Chinese-owned British brand’s vision of a new MG SUV that will rival the Nissan Qashqai. MG has already confirmed a production version of the car will follow, and that it will be sold globally, indicating it will make UK dealerships.
The concept has been designed by a team led by Brit Anthony Williams-Kenny, who is the firm’s global design director. MG says it “oozes British design flair while embracing the sporting DNA of MG”. The SUV segment is the fastest growing in the world, so the SUV - the first ever from MG - is considered a priority.
The CS SUV is based on SAIC's Global A platform. It will be comparable in length and width to the MG5, but will be a strict five-seater
MG won't introduce the CS until 2015 as it needs to ramp up its European operations, but the timing leaves it poised to capitalise on the boom in sales of compact SUVs.
MG says the production car will look remarkably similar to this CS concept, although the firm has a history of significantly toning down styling when its cars reach production. According to design boss, Anthony Williams-Kenny, the styling focus was to create a car to reflect the wellington boot - a functional item that has now evolved to take on a stylish, premium role in certain parts of society, as well as emphasising the car's urban and country ability.
MG remain tight-lipped on powertrains, but it is likely 1.5- and 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines will be offered in China, and a diesel is expected to be introduced for European markets. Four-wheel drive could be offered, but front-wheel drive versions are expected to make up the vast bulk of sales.
Glaring concept flourishes include the headlights, which feature a shard structure that refracts light in different colours from the side, but which coalesce when looked at from the front to form the octagon of MG’s logo.
The MG CS is unrelated to the retro-styled MG Icon, which was considered to be more of a style-led concept, although that car could evolve into a production model to rival the Ford Ecosport.
The imminent arrival of the CS SUV means that MG5 sales in UK may not happen immediately. Sales boss Guy Jones said: "We continue to evaluate the MG5, and it is an interesting car in an interesting segment, but no decisions have been made yet". It is likely that the SUV will take priority as it is both more profitable and operates in a larger market segment.
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