The GS was styled under the stewardship of MG design boss Anthony Williams-Kenny, in a collaboration between MG's Shanghai and Longbridge design teams. He explained the brief behind the new car's styling, saying: “The world is changing quickly in terms of what we expect from a product, so our goal is to bring the most up to date design trends to our own.
"With MG’s first SUV, we wanted to design a car that would fit in with the MG family and have a slightly different look, of confidence and dynamism, that sets it apart from the other models.”
The GS adheres closely to the look of the well-received CS concept of 2013, with a highly contemporary look featuring a clear family resemblance to the recently introduced MG3, MG5 and MG6.
Key styling elements include a simple grille featuring the traditional octagonal Morris Garages badge, a heavily adorned two-tone front bumper, trapezoidal headlights, sheer surfacing, structured flanks, blacked-out pillars and an angled tailgate.
At 4500mm in length, 1855mm in width and 1675mm in height, the GS is 73mm longer, 46mm wider and 8mm lower than the Volkswagen Tiguan.
Autocar has already driven the Chinese-spec GS, and MG has assured us that the chassis, engine, handling, specs and interior will all be different to the Chinese model. While earlier speculative reports suggested the new SUV was based on the same platform as the latest Ssangyong Rexton, MG says the GS rides on a new scalable SUV architecture developed in partnership with SAIC.
MG has only confirmed the 1.5-litre engine that produces 168bhp and 184lb ft engine for the GS, but others are planned to follow, according to officials from SAIC’s UK engineering headquarters. The in-house-developed turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine delivers a class-competitive 217bhp and 258lb ft of torque.
On the initial GS model, drive is channelled through a manual gearbox, or the standard six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Buyers will be offered the choice of either front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. In four-wheel-drive guise, the new MG is claimed to accelerate from 0-62mph in “around eight seconds”. However, more detailed performance and fuel economy claims are yet to be made public.
A diesel variant of the GS is also planned. It's earmarked to receive the same turbocharged 1.9-litre four-cylinder unit already offered in various MG models, where it delivers 148bhp and 258lb ft of torque.