What's it like?
The MG team on hand for our drive at Silverstone made it clear the car’s suspension settings and combination of 15-inch wheels and economy-orientated tyres were not signed off and would not necessarily make it to production. But the great news for MG fans is that, even in a non-finished state, the EV concept is an accomplished city car already.
The ride, for instance, is excellent. The surface we tested the car on was pretty uneven, but the MG soaked it up with little complaint and plenty of aplomb. It also felt good in the corners, resisting roll well and possessing plenty of grip, with well-weighted steering that offered more feel than expected. The EV concept’s kerb weight of slightly more than a tonne probably helps here.
As with all EVs, maximum torque is available instantly and the modest 0-62mph time is probably less relevant than the car’s 0-31mph time, which is an impressive 5.3 seconds. The MG concept certainly feels quick enough for zipping about congested UK conurbations, although the regenerative braking effect is minimal when lifting off the throttle.
MG claims a range of between 50 and 71 miles. If this doesn’t sound a lot, it’s because the manufacturer says this is a ‘realistic’ range for someone who is driving the car with lights, wipers, the heater and radio on in winter months, draining the battery quicker. It’s also more than adequate for most UK commuting needs.
Should I buy one?
The key to the MG EV concept’s success will be time to market and also how much the British marque will charge for it. MG’s bigwigs won’t confirm when the car will go on sale, chiefly because they’re awaiting European consensus on a universal charging socket design, although it seems very near production-ready otherwise. Given that the development costs for the Roewe should already have been swallowed, anything in the £10-12,000 ballpark would make this a genuine marvel.
Its main rivals would be Volkswagen’s e-Up and Nissan’s Leaf, priced at £19,270 and £16,490 respectively. The MG would need to be considerably cheaper than both, but that’s not because it’s a bad machine – it’s pleasant to drive and attractive inside and out. We sincerely hope it goes on sale soon and that the cost of owning one isn’t too high; if it isn’t, this could be MG’s greatest product.
MG EV concept
Price TBC 0-62mph 14.6 seconds Top speed 81mph Economy 50-71 miles CO2 0g/km Kerbweight 1080kg Engine Permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM), electric Installation Front-mounted motor, front-wheel drive Power 70bhp at 8000rpm Torque 114lb ft Gearbox CVT