China Watch : Chinese MG3 launch draws closer
The MG3’s launch is looming in China as the media get to grips with the follow up to the MG ZR.
Small MGs have always been popular, with the Metro and, more recently, the ZR proving that there’s a big market for a city-centric MG. These pictures, taken from the Chinese site Autohome.com.cn, give the best impression yet of what we can expect from the new supermini.
The MG3 will succeed the MG3SW, (the reborn Rover Streetwise) aiming squarely for the youth market, with a predicted Chinese-market price of around £6000. In size terms, the car’s 3990mm length puts it firmly in Ford Fiesta territory with 15in alloys on the higher-specification models (lower models will probably sport 14in steel wheels).
Power comes from SAIC’s New Small Engine, a 1.5-litre engine, developing from 90bhp. This makes the 3 the first Shanghai-era MG not to feature a K-Series-derived engine – with both manual and automatic transmissions on offer. A more potent, turbocharged variant is set to follow, as well as a new-crossover planned for later this year.
Inside, the futuristic MG ZERO Concept’s dash is gone, replaced by audio controls inspired by Apple’s iPod, with similar style controls repeated on the steering wheel. Quality seems to have improved from the somewhat questionable model shown at the Guangzhou Motor Show late last year. It’s solid, if unspectacular, and does without extras like the Roewe 350’s Android-powered in-car entertainment systems.
The small car B-segment is a rapidly growing one in the PRC, with an increasing number of under 30s now able to afford to buy their own car and SAIC Motor will be keen to maintain their success with the 3SW which, despite its aged underpinnings, has been something of a hit with buyers.
During last week’s UK Media Briefing, MG Motor UK’s Sales and Marketing Director, Guy Jones indicated that the MG3 is likely to be the next MG to make it to these shores, with an expected late-2012 launch.
With thanks to China Car Times