An all-new sports car, a crossover, a replacement for the MG ZT/Rover 75 and a hybrid in MG's plans
26 April 2011

An all-new sports car, a crossover, a replacement for the MG ZT/Rover 75 and a hybrid are among many models that Shanghai Automotive (SAIC) is developing for the reborn MG marque.

There are also new engine ranges on the way, including downsized, turbocharged petrol engines co-developed with GM, as well as new 2.0 and 2.4-litre four-cylinder units. SAIC is also debating whether to offer an MG version of the electric city car revealed at the Beijing motor show last spring.

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That decision depends in part on government incentives and the roll-out of infrastructure. But a hybrid version of the MG 6 is definitely on; it will appear towards the end of 2013 following a facelift.

The two-seat sports car, which is very likely to be rear-wheel drive, is not scheduled to appear until 2016.

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SAIC’s product planning boss, Liu Tao, admits that the firm has not yet devised a way of being able to offer the model because it has no suitable platforms. But SAIC recognises that a sports car is very important to the MG marque and says it will work hard to provide the model.

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The MG SUV, which is unrelated to the Roewe W5 launched at the show, is a monocoque crossover aimed at the Nissan Qashqai. Codenamed AS21, it is due in 2014 and will come with a 2.0 petrol turbo and a dual-clutch transmission. No diesel version is currently planned, despite European market tastes.

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A year later the MG 7/Roewe 750 replacement will appear, some 15 years after the debut of the Rover 75 on which both cars are based. A coupé-like four-door, this model will be powered by a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine and a 1.9-litre diesel, both with dual-clutch transmissions.

Most of these new models will be designed and engineered in Longbridge in the UK, and Anting in China, and some could be assembled in Birmingham as well.

Richard Bremner

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