MG has ushered in its first plug-in hybrid with a new electrified variant of its HS flagship SUV, available to order next month from £29,995.
The PHEV will be sold alongside the all-new 5 electric estate and the smaller ZS EV, as MG targets 50% of total sales being EVs and PHEVs by 2021. It currently claims to have the highest proportional EV mix of any mainstream manufacturer with a combustion offering.
The new HS Plug-in pairs a 160bhp 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a 121bhp electric motor for a combined output of 254bhp and a 0-62mph time of 7.5sec. Power is sent to the front wheels from both power sources through a newly developed 10-speed automatic gearbox that is claimed to “optimise power delivery and efficiency”.
A 16.6kWh battery pack gives an electric-only range of 32 miles and can be charged to full capacity in three hours using a Type 2 charger. Unlike the 5 and ZS EV, the HS Plug-in’s charging port is located on the opposite side to the fuel filler, rather than underneath the front grille.
Full economy figures have yet to be detailed, but the HS Plug-in emits 43g/km of CO2 on the WLTP combined cycle and can be expected to improve dramatically on the standard automatic car’s 36.2mpg consumption rating.
The interior is familiar from the standard HS, as is the simple trim level structure. Entry-level Excite cars get 18in alloy wheels, leather-style upholstery, electrically adjustable heated front seats, a 360deg camera, keyless entry and dual-zone climate control. Exclusive trim bumps the price up to £32,495 and brings an opening panoramic roof, an electric boot, leather seats, ambient lighting, LED headlights and sequential indicators.
Safety features equipped as standard across the range include adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning and blind-spot detection.
The HS currently accounts for around 20% of MG’s UK sales, and sales and marketing boss Daniel Gregorious said the new arrival will increase the model’s market share because “it’s a tremendously affordable package” that sits at a price point “comparable to some other manufacturers’ smaller internal-combustion-engine models”.