News : MG at Auto China 2012

Keith Adams

Although the spotlight was firmly on the Icon in Beijing, the show also saw the launch of MG’s BTCC special editions, as well as the ‘RedLine’ series of modifications, intended to strengthen the marque’s sporting identity. MG, which is still a very young company in China, is pushing hard to bolster its youthful image.

The BTCC editions, designed to capitalise on the marque’s current Touring Car Championship Programme, feature bold graphics with contrasting stripes and large MG logos. A more aggressive front bumper and side skirts also suitably beef-up the exterior styling. RedLine is an additional package, which introduces red interior features (including seatbelts!) and stripes.

The striking looking special editions, which are available across the 3, 5, and 6 ranges, were designed in the UK. We also managed to get a close look at the MG3 and MG5 for the first time and both models – which were styled in the UK – look very good indeed. The smaller car’s interior is nicely designed with reasonable interior quality, but the 5′s plastics and trim fabrics left a lot to be desired. Both cars will be thoroughly overhauled in the run-up to their UK launches – the former, late in 2012, and the latter not until mid-2013 at the very earliest. It’s understood, too, that the MG3 needed work at the front end in order to meet European pedestrian safety testing.



Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Editor at AROnline and @hjclassics. Likes cars, taking pictures, travelling and knee-high boots...

25 Responses

  1. Hilton D - April 23, 2012

    Despite any other reservations, the MG5 & 6 both look good in these photos. I think (and hope) that the new MG’s progress in the UK will gain momentum… it is after all their original home country!

  2. Mark Hayman - April 23, 2012

    Yes nice to see MG now getting on the map, and with Jason Plato and his team mate doing well on the recent car races. Regards Mark

  3. David 3500 - April 23, 2012

    I love the idea of the Red Line package. In the UK this could potentially be used as more of a sub-brand, rather like X-Power was, to convey upgrades to engine power, more aggressive styling aids and even be-spoke features. Who knows, but in the medium and long term, Red Line influences could potentially be used for underpinning lower volume specialist editions that could create a more aspirational appeal for the models on which they are based.

    It may have a less sporting conviction in China but a more aspirational Red Line sub-brand, together with some more dynamic and convincing marketing could help sharpen current perceptions of the MG6 and the MG brand in general.

  4. TwoR8s, one ADO13 and an X350 - April 23, 2012

    It looks like a Scalextric set.

  5. David Dawson - April 23, 2012

    Yes, David, that’s a very good point!

  6. David Dawson - April 23, 2012

    The photos are impressive. You can see a very definite image forming. It’s all good news!

  7. David Dawson - April 23, 2012

    I’m agreeing with David 3500 in comment 5, not anticipating my own comment 6!!!

  8. Ritchie B. - April 23, 2012

    @David 3k5 (#3): I agree that the ‘Red-Line’ sub-brand is a real cracker …… it was used by GM until recently in their sublime and ultra-sexy ‘Saturn Sky’ top-end, performance versions (well, until that Division was killed off, anyway).
    So, I’m wondering about the ‘moniker’ ownership, right now …..
    {Saturn Sky // Opel GT // Daewoo G2X = drop-dead gorgeous cabrio}.

  9. Paul - April 23, 2012

    In a showroom probably nowhere near you in 2018 – Record sales figures of 25 are predicted.

  10. Robert Leitch - April 23, 2012

    More heritage. “Leyland Redline” was the sub-brand used for the former BMC trucks after the formation of British Leyland.

    I wonder if it’s merely coincidental…

  11. Keith Adams Keith Adams - April 24, 2012

    We did mention that at the show Robert. It’s coincidental, but they twigged quite early on. Let’s just call it heritage.


  12. James Riley james - April 24, 2012

    Are there any more pics of the MG display, it does look a tad understated (apart from the Icon, of course) Were the 3 & 5 being pushed much?

  13. daveh - April 24, 2012

    6 and 5 look good in the snazzy new mods – they actually look sporting and rather good looking. 3 does look a bit dubiously proportioned – and the 6′s rear end is rather naff looking.

  14. ian - April 25, 2012

    The most important thing is that these cars sell internationally – Austin Rover/ Rover Group (cars) and MGR became too reliant on the UK market. From some of the comments above, looks like the reverse may be true of MG Motor!

  15. 820Tickford - April 25, 2012

    Very nice to look at, but I’d rather a power upgrade came with the extra styling myself. Loving the red seatbelts though!

  16. Robert Leitch - April 25, 2012

    @Ritchie B

    The question keeps being asked – did anyone at GM or SAIC think of shifting the Sky / Solstice tooling from Wilmington to China as the basis for a new MG?

    Its Kappa platform seems to live on as the Alpha platform, a lower cost rwd platform seen underpinning the Chevrolet Code 130R concept, a sort of BMW 1 series clone.

    It seems to be dawning on SAIC that the MG range needs a sports car for credibility. Let’s hope GM are not too precious about sharing a very suitable platform.

  17. RR - April 25, 2012

    “It seems to be dawning on SAIC that the MG range needs a sports car for credibility”. Then the BTCC version of the MG6 needs 200BHP+, get the boys at prodrive to work out the suspension and ride, and give it a decent AMG’esque or M3′esque halo appeal with letters like BRM or some other sitting in the closet!

  18. Steve Haines - April 25, 2012

    Come on MG UK, I’m looking to buy a new MG6 and would definitly go for the redline treatment, it looks great.
    A more powerful engine is required too though, MG is all about sporting heritage, not pootling around town!
    A triple 8 treatment on the curent MG6 and taking advantage of the BTCC publicity should see sales figure improve. Get an advert on ITV4 during the touring car coverage!!!!

  19. COKE STAR - April 26, 2012

    Great job! The Redline treatment is going in the right direction to reach younger drivers in the UK and in continental Europe where “Made In England” MGs must reach showrooms as soon as possible to boost production and workforce in the UK.

  20. Jason1.8TC - April 26, 2012

    I see ‘Morris Garages’ is still prelevant, what part is this playing in the brand? It’s strange seeing ‘Morris’ in 21st century fonts, does Morris exist or not?

  21. Robert Leitch - April 26, 2012

    Mentioning Morris, did nobody else notice Geely’s gruesome Minor hommage:

  22. Jason1.8TC - April 26, 2012

    Oh dear….the offspring of a seedy one night stand between a Bentley Mulsanne and TX1

  23. Richard Kilpatrick Richard Kilpatrick - April 30, 2012

    The mention of Scalextric made me wonder if MG could somehow encourage the production of an MG6 BTCC set to be sold through Tescos etc.

    They could put resistors in Andy Neate’s car (did they accidentally fit his with a TCi Tech or something?), whilst Plato’s could have a magnet on the front with a corresponding one to fit to other BTCC cars, as well as a random mechanism to just fling it off the track yet somehow go faster than everything else anyway.

  24. Paul - May 2, 2012

    A Bentley, a TX1 and an old Nissan Micra…

  25. andycolm - May 5, 2012

    With additional bodykits and larger power units will also come larger list prices.

    The Magnette with 158BHP already lists circa 20k.

    Will people pay upwards of 30k for a performance version of the 6 ?

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