MG looks set to benefit from a major tie-up between its parent firm SAIC and General Motors, as part of a push towards an ambitious global sales target of 700,000 MGs and Roewes by 2015.
SAIC will launch four new ranges over the next four years. The firm — which is 84 per cent state-owned — has manufacturing deals with Volkswagen and GM, but it is also working on a series of technical partnerships with the US firm, including a range of engines and the possible use of the Epsilon 2 platform that underpins the Vauxhall Insignia.
The new engine is codenamed SGE. Capacities include 1.0, 1.2, 1.4 and 1.5 litres, all with turbos, and outputs range from 115bhp to 162bhp. Some of these engines will replace normally aspirated units in the MG 3 from 2014, although the first car to offer them in the UK is likely to be the MG 5. The Ford Focus rival will launch in 2013, and its powertrain line-up is also likely to include a plug-in hybrid.
An all-new, Longbridge-designed 1.9-litre diesel engine, vital to European sales, will arrive next year for the MG 6 and will also be offered in the MG 5, while a smaller-capacity diesel is also being developed for the MG 3.
The Episilon 2 platform is being earmarked for a replacement for the Roewe 750, a Rover 75-based saloon that hasn’t made it to Europe as an MG. It will arrive in 2014 with fastback styling, and an MG version — a spiritual successor to the ZT — has not been ruled out.
In the same year, a shapely looking MG SUV will arrive, planned with a 2.0-litre turbo engine, which also comes in normally aspirated 2.4-litre form. It will probably be offered with a diesel for European markets.
MG hopes to expand its UK dealer network to 50 branches by the end of the year.