UK-designed youthful MG is expected to go on sale as the MG3
23 April 2010

This is MG’s new supermini, designed at the company’s Longbridge engineering centre and likely to go on sale here in 2011 following a Chinese debut in the second half of this year.

This concept version, called MG Zero, is a lightly modified version of the real thing, which will be called MG3. The showroom version will feature less elaborate exterior lighting and do without the (rather effective) LED-lit front grille, as well as the illuminated MG logos in the head restraints.

But the bodywork itself is representative of the showroom car, as are the outer casings of the headlamps and tail-lights. MG’s owner, SAIC, says the car was designed with a UK flavour from the start, the design team led by Briton Anthony Williams.

SAIC is aiming the car at so-called G-90 consumers, who are aged between 18 and 28 and expect a car with a high level of connectivity.

No details have been given of the MG’s interior equipment, but the advanced infotainment system of the newly launched Roewe 350, which has been developed in league with China’s second biggest mobile company, China Unicom, suggests that the MG3 could be pretty sophisticated in this area. Mechanically the MG3 follows the format of virtually every other supermini on the market. That means a transverse, front-wheel drive powertrain, MacPherson strut front suspension and an H-frame torsion beam rear axle.

Although the layout is identical to that of the MG Streetwise that this car will replace in China (that’s the Streetwise, cross-over version of the ancient Rover 25, which is moderately popular in what is now its home market), the MG3 rides on an all-new platform that shares no parts with the outgoing model.

SAIC product planning boss Liu Tao says the new MG’s wheelbase is the biggest in its class at 2.5m, and provides above-average interior space as a result. A glance through the locked doors of the show car confirmed above-average rear room.

Besides riding on an all-new platform, the MG3 also uses a completely new range of four-cylinder engines. Codenamed NSE, they have just debuted in the Roewe 350, and will come in 1.3 and 1.5-litre capacities producing (somewhat average) outputs of 67bhp and 107bhp respectively.

A turbo version of the 1.5 is also a possibility; it produces 156bhp and would give the MG performance more appropriate to the marque’s sporting heritage.

The standard transmission is a five-speed manual, and there’s an automatic option on the 1.5. Liu Tao says there are plans for a diesel, but no date has yet been set for its availability.

 

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Comments
48

23 April 2010

Please ensure that when you talk about the work of the Principal design director, you mention that under him there are many talented individuals who work very hard to bring to that show the car you are writing about. I think its a shame that you do not acknowledge them.

23 April 2010

that mg zero looks cool

23 April 2010

I see they've resurrected the MG Metro.....

23 April 2010

if they make the mg zero they will sell like hot cakes

23 April 2010

Finally, something promising and commercially viable. Price is properly and they clean up.

23 April 2010

Looks rather sharp until the last photo when it seems to turn into a Dacia Sandero.

If priced realistically then all these new MGs should make a semi-patriotic alternative to the Kias and Hyundais of this world. Longer term let's hope the UK team behind the MG rebirth can tap into the vein of what MG really used to be about (before about 1969 when the company last seemed to have any money or direction). Bring on the 2015 MGD GT with a raspy exhaust and big sunroof.

23 April 2010

No, no, no, no and no. The MG badge must not be used for a bargain-basement supermini - only for the 'hot' versions (as with the Austin/Morris/MG 1100/1300, the Metro, etc). What this is, is an Austin - but somehow I don't think young people would buy into the Austin brand, more's the pity. Somehow, I don't see them buying this car, either - it looks just like the CityRover in profile (although the detailing is nicer, including the quite snazzy nose). No, I'm sorry, but this will only sell over here to pensioners. Perhaps they need to negotiate with BMW, swap the Austin brand for the Riley brand... after all, a decent little supermini called the Riley Elf, styled in a 'cute but modern' way, like the current Suzuki Swift, ought to do well. It would have to have a lower roof than this thing, though - tall superminis don't sell to young people.

What is more, this thing has far too little glazing, with window sills that are far too high, and a D-pillar that is far too thick, leading to truly terrible visibility, which is one of the primary causes of accidents on today's roads. People are dying because of car designers' desire for 'rising beltlines' and 'swooping rooflines' and whatnot, which leave you with bugger all rear windscreen! I can tell you this, when I'm of the age they're targeting with this thing, I'll be running a Triumph 2500 estate. Stylish, RWD, spacious, lovely straight-six engine, and, best of all, LOTS OF VISIBILITY!

Come on, MG, get your act together. We need a new B, a new Spridget and a new Magnette, but please, keep the badge for hot hatches, not boggo ones.

23 April 2010

WOW......what a fantastic - - - pair of legs!!!

23 April 2010

[quote MartyB59]WOW......what a fantastic - - - pair of legs!!![/quote]

This is the other thing that pisses me off about motor shows - now, I'm no Germaine Greer, in fact, I hate her, but I think that the motor industry's continued use of crumpet to attract attention to their (mostly) tedious cars. It's demeaning to the women, it just continues their objectification, and that can never be a good thing.

Needless to say, I am male (what woman would be so interested in rusty old bangers like me?!), but I find the male domination of the motor industry disappointing, and this objectification of women as unacceptable. One of these motor show girls maintains an anonymous blog and makes it clear that, although she loves cars, loves talking about them, most guys she meets just stare at her tïts, ask her out to dinner, ask her for her personal phone number, etc... guys, leave the bloody girls alone and concentrate on the cars! Better still (and here I address the car manufacturers) - take the girls off the show stands and give them less 'glamorous' jobs that will actually challenge them mentally and allow them to be treated just the same as us menfolk.

23 April 2010

I think it looks rather nice, sort of a cross between a C4/207 at the front, a Skoda Fabia at the back with the profile of a Swift. I think it would sell well too.

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