China Watch : Roewe 750 replacement spied on test

Keith Adams 

2013 Roewe 750 undergoing testing in China

2013 Roewe 750 undergoing testing in China

These images posted on auto.sina should leave AROnline readers in no doubt that SAIC Motor’s rapid development of the MG and Roewe  marques shows no sign of slowing. Despite the warmed over Rover 75 only being four years old, its replacement looks to be in the latter stages of development – and it’s clearly based upon GM’s Epsilon II platform as we predicted back in December. 

The new E-segment car takes over from the current 75-based car in mid-2013 and is likely to form the basis of a new MG7 which will replace a car that was never imported into the EU. The next-generation Roewe 750 will therefore be technically similar to the Vauxhall/Opel Insignia and Buick Lacrosse, as well as the Saab 9-5. However, as yet,  it’s not entirely clear whether the car will come to the UK –  it could fall well within SAIC Motor’s five-year plan for MG Motor UK but many UK buyers would rather see the return of an MG sports car. 

MG Motor UK Sales and Marketing Director, Guy Jones, told AROnline back in May 2010, ‘whilst there’s clearly a market in China for an E-segment MG model, there’s a question mark over the size of the European market for E-segment models outside of those from established European premium manufacturers such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. 

‘I’m not ruling out the possibility of an E-segment MG model being launched in the UK and Europe but we would need to establish the business case and that’s not a priority – we’re concentrating on the B,C and D-segments first as that’s in line with current market trends.’ 

Clearly launching the MG3 and MG5 are the next priority for MG Motor UK but, if the marque can be established successfully, the MG7 would make an intriguing alternative to the likes of the Audi A6, BMW 5-Series and possibly even the Jaguar XF… 

[Source: auto.sina.com.cn

2013 Roewe 750 undergoing testing in China

2013 Roewe 750 undergoing testing in China

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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Keith Adams

About the Author:

Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007. Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent... Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.

42 Comments on "China Watch : Roewe 750 replacement spied on test"

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  1. Andrew Elphick says:

    Well, given that this car is based on a vehicle which has already been out for nearly three years and will not be launched until mid-2013, it is the curse of the “Firm facelift” all over again.

    However, it would make a good “Dacia Safrane” with that grille…

  2. Richard Moss says:

    I know that, if I say anything negative about this Roewe 750 replacement, a wave of abuse will, of course, head my way from those who think that this is the rebirth of MG. However, the fact that this car is based on the Insignia should surely open a few eyes to the truth.

  3. Jonathan Carling Jonathan Carling says:

    This car would surely not saleable in Europe. The MG6 looks ordinary but drives well and so, in my view, gets away with it as an MG – it’s a kind of lineal descendant of the MG Maestro. The MG3 and MG5 could well follow suit.

    However, the MG7 doesn’t lay claim to that kind of heritage and will look unpleasant. MG Motor UK should leave this car in China if it wants to avoid selling the new Daewoo Leganza or Kia Magentis.

  4. WarrenL says:

    This is interesting. The MG6 can trace its heritage straight back to the Rover 75. There is a continuous thread of DNA that helps to make the car palatable to Firmophiles. The British Designers and Engineers who have put the car together provide a strong link to the old Firm.

    However, an MG7 based on this? It’s really a leap into the unknown. Will the great unwashed care? Indeed, if the marketing and image are right, who will give a damn?

  5. Rob says:

    I thought the MG6 could trace a SUBFRAME back to the Rover 75?

  6. Bob says:

    Well, at least the MG3 and MG6 have reasonably current styling – this just looks like a five year old Kia Magentis or whatever its name was.

  7. Marinast says:

    SAIC Motor should not try to market this in Europe as the chassis is too dated and, against German and Jaguar opposition, it would surely be eaten alive.

    I believe that, while it is good to see SAIC Motor replacing the 75 with a new model, MG should concentrate on a new sports car and getting that right. Actually, they should, in fact, look at developing two sports models: a small and simple sub-£11k one with 1500cc to 1800cc engines and another larger circa £20k RWD sports car with their developed 2.5KV6 or even a GM-sourced V8 unit.

  8. Mark Pitchford says:

    Anyone else think that the rear passenger door window has echoes of the Daewoo Leganza?

    There does seem to be an intent to only import and/or make MG products for/in Europe if they are right for the image of the marque in the market – hence no Roewe 750 here. I think SAIC Motor know what they’re doing!

  9. Hilton Davis says:

    We have to accept that future MG and Roewe cars will leave behind any links with late Ninetiess/early Noughties MG Rovers. Looking at these shots, I’ve tried to imagine this car with a trad MG or Roverr-shaped grille but can’t – it’s GM basis is too strong.

    We’ve just got to move on but, having said that, I don’t think this will be in the same league as an Audi A6 or Bimmer 5 and no way will it be a rival to the Jaguar XF!

  10. Keith B says:

    Doesn’t the use of the GM Epsilon II platform make the purchase of MGR a bit pointless?

  11. David Dawson says:

    This shows not a bit of MGR heritage!!

  12. Simon Hodgetts says:

    Oh dear, it looks like Roewe has just shot itself in the foot big style with this minger!!

  13. Grahame says:

    This car can’t ever wear the MG badge – it’s just a waste of time. I doubt it will even get over here and, if it does, I can’t see it selling well unless it’s priced a lot lower then a Vauxhall Insignia. Actually, even if this car does come over here, I think a lot of people would rather have a secondhand Insignia. No, I can’t see this doing well at all.

    It’s also a let down to know SAIC Motor thinking of making it as it’s a old car under the skin and there’s no room for it in unless it has equipment others don’t have and a few good engines – not the 1.8T in the MG6 as even that could do with more power

    I reckon that MG will have to come up with an engine which can reach 155mph and produce over 220bhp if they want to try and brake into the market of fast cars like the Insignia VXR and the hot hatch segment as, otherwise, the MG3 will also be a flop.

    MG needs to do something which makes people buzz and stick to what they do best instead of making cheap cars which do not have any MG charm. I hope they do well though so good luck to this car and all the others to come.

  14. BajanDave says:

    I see hints of the current US model Toyota Camry and a myriad of past and present GM and Korean products – this car’s styling is not distinctive enough for it to be a rival to the top players in the Executive car segment.

  15. Mark Hayman says:

    The back of the car looks nice, but not the front, mind you I can imagine a Rover like grill on the front, buts its another Roewe, I think that MG has a good market base in Europe, but I dont think this car will fit the bill though.

  16. David Whittington says:

    Test mules such as this car never look like the real thing – when the final production version is released I’m sure it’ll look much better.

    Anyway, contrary to some previous comments, I think that a big MG would sell – look how many MG ZTs and Rover 75s there are on the road. Such a car would appeal to non-conformists who want something different to another Audi or BMW.

  17. Dolomite Fan says:

    Most new cars will be based on some other model. The Vauxhall Insignia has been well received and would certainly be a good platform to base a Chinese car on as they tend to favour comfort over handling and that’s something which the Insignia is pretty good.

    I reckon that it’s time for everyone to wake up to the fact that MG is a brand like Alfa Romeo or Seat. Both of these marques’ cars are based on boggo models like Fiats and VW Golfs but people still seem to like these cars.

  18. Grahame says:

    @Dolomite Fan
    The Vauxhall Insignia is a good car – that’s a proven fact – and I see what you saying about how MG are going to be like Alfa Romeo or Seat.

    However, it would just be nice to see MG make a totally new car and engine. Maybe that will happen in time if the MG6 and the MG3 do well. I just hope we see something fresh from SAIC Motor – something they have designed and engineered themselves and not had to copy from somebody else.

    SAIC Motor also needs a broader engine range because, so far, all I can see is a 1.5-litre and a 1.8-litre turbo. MG will not be able to take on the likes of Ford or Vauxhall with such a limited range of engines so, if they are aiming to go for Audi and BMW, work needs to be done.

  19. Phil Simpson says:

    This looks uncannily like the current VW Passat with the exception of the rear.

    I don’t think they should rule out selling a version of this car in Europe as long as they don’t aim to compete with the likes of Audi and BMW. There is a market for cars of this size such as the Ford Mondeo and the Vauxhall Insignia, the platform of which underpins this car.

  20. Yerever luvin' Uncle Bert says:

    The new Roewe 750 will make a nice, if uninspiring, modern car. The problem is with the MG name. It does not sit well on a modern Executive saloon with no sporting pretensions. The car is a good one though and ought to do well with a Roewe badge on it.

    Would I personally have one? I don’t think so solely due to its ‘middle-of-the-roadness’. Not enough character or sporting pretension for me…

  21. WarrenL says:

    @Rob
    Well, at least there is a subframe. There’s all sorts of conflicting information out there on just how much 75 there is in a 6. Maybe somebody will one day be able to clarify the issue with complete authority.

    I’d be prepared to bet a few dimes on there being more than just a subframe – manufacturers always like to claim a model is “all-new” whilst they save on development and tooling costs where they can. I can bear witness to this courtesy of a number of “all-new” cars I’ve had that contained very obvious and quite substantial vestiges of their previous incarnations.

  22. Ross A says:

    I do not think that this would really suit an MG version – it would be a stab in SAIC/MG’s foot. It’s too ham-fisted looking to be considered a sporty saloon. Nope, this is best left as a Roewe and should not wear an MG badge…

  23. Jack Yan Jack Yan says:

    Well, perhaps contrary to most above, I think this looks rather good. It’s a bit Buick LaCrosse-like (no surprise given the basis) but quite contemporary. Nice, high waistline, a cab-forward look. I wouldn’t call it an MG either but, given that the Red Chinese love their saloons, this fits in with their conservative tastes.

    There’s also enough of the Roewe 350 and 550 design language in this new one, but it improves on it and doesn’t look as staid as the smaller models.

    SAIC Motor has partnered with GM for years so it seems sensible to share costs – and, remember, the Chinese company holds some GM shares itself. SAIC Motor is, at least, properly sourcing the technology, unlike certain other Chinese companies I can name.

  24. Jack Yan Jack Yan says:

    It wasn’t that long ago that certain MGs and Rovers had Honda platforms – is having a GM one that much of a sin? There are still Brits working on the R&D side and, while their role is more limited than with many of the Rondas, it’s still present (and perhaps no less than with the Honda Domani/Rover 400).

    I suspect we will all get over the Chinese input at some stage, just as we got over the Japanese.

  25. Simon Woodward says:

    @Jack Yan
    I agree with both your posts – some Chinese companies just blatantly steal the technology but its seems that SAIC Motor have greater morality and ethics. No doubt there will be the usual bout of negativity but, at the end of the day, I don’t see a home grown alternative.

    Anyway, as for the car being based on a GM platform, what’s wrong with that? The Vauxhall Insignia upon which it’s based on is a fine vehicle so why should this one be any different? VAG platform share with all its brands – isn’t the Bentley based on a VW Phaeton?! Surely, if it’s good enough for VAG, it should be good enough for MG and, as you point out, a large part of the MGR range was based on Japanese Hondas.

    By the way, Autocade is already pretty good – nice one.

  26. Paul says:

    Maybe there would be a market for this car in Europe. Let’s face it the current Mondeo may be classified as a D-segment car, but it’s massive and easily as big as E-segment models such as the Audi A6 or BMW 5 Series.

    Oh, and as for it being Insignia-based, I’ve never seen a bad review of that car, so what’s the problem?

  27. The Lord Of Serendipity Acne And Spatial Awareness says:

    What is wrong with basing a new car on an existing, good, platform? The French, Germans, Italians and Japanese to name a few have done this for decades.

  28. Lord Sward says:

    I’d buy a SAAB 9-5 if I was in the market for a big dodo with uncertain parentage…

  29. Marty B says:

    A big, Chinese barge, won’t sell – it’s a modern day Daewoo and we all know what happened to them.

    GM are well known for screwing up ‘offshoot’ companies and will just use China as a cheap sweatshop, making low quality cars, using yesterday’s technology.

    The Insignia isn’t that great a car. The handling is average, with many having 4wd to disguise the poor chassis – it is still an also-ran in the repmobile stakes.

  30. WillHC says:

    The Chinese-built versions of the 75 stopped being Rovers once they took the Roewe name so the bland design doesn’t mean anything to me. I just hope that, if MG do make a version of this new model, they make it more exciting.

  31. Simon says:

    It is hard to tell where SAIC Motor are going with their styling. The MG6 and MG3 have some resemblance but this new Roewe 750 looks nothing like the others. The new MG5 also looks very different.

    Roy Axe brought a design language to ARG and, if the full range had been launched, we would have seen this more clearly. Peter Stevens even managed a design theme with the range on a very limited budget. I don’t see this with the latest designs.

    However, it’s good that SAIC Motor is investing in new models at a furious pace. I’m looking forward to the crossover being launched.

  32. Mark Pitchford says:

    Rob :
    I thought the MG6 could trace a SUBFRAME back to the Rover 75?

    Look under the bonnet…

  33. Mark Pitchford says:

    Simon :
    It is hard to tell where SAIC Motor are going with their styling. The MG6 and MG3 have some resemblance but this new Roewe 750 looks nothing like the others. The new MG5 also looks very different.

    Roy Axe brought a design language to ARG and, if the full range had been launched, we would have seen this more clearly. Peter Stevens even managed a design theme with the range on a very limited budget. I don’t see this with the latest designs.

    However, it’s good that SAIC Motor is investing in new models at a furious pace. I’m looking forward to the crossover being launched.

    I’m not sure how you can tell that from a disguised car. Themes are pretty subtle sometimes – the shape of the grille or the format of the headlamps. They aren’t necessarily going to expose the final form in a test car which is explicitly designed to hide a new model from early exposure.

  34. Doug says:

    Mark Pitchford :

    Rob :
    I thought the MG6 could trace a SUBFRAME back to the Rover 75?

    Look under the bonnet…

    The 1.8-litre TCI Tech engine is, apparently, a substantially altered unit. I think the rumour going round is that it’ll be replaced by an all-new 2.0T within the next couple of years.

  35. 406v6 406V6 says:

    What an indifferent looking car – obsolete styling-wise before it’s even been introduced. The windows are ridiculously small – based on current trends the 2020 model will have tiny slits for windows like an armoured troop carrier.

  36. DaveH says:

    Is it me or does this Roewe 750 replacement look like the recently departed Volkswagen Passat?

  37. Mikey C says:

    I’m sure this will sell in China, but the market for such cars in Europe is small, so I doubt they’ll care that British MGR afficionados don’t like it!

  38. David 3500 says:

    Well, judging by the rather bland aesthetics of this three-box saloon, I am extremely pleased that there are no immediate plans, if any, to bring the car to the UK, let alone one bearing the Roewe name. China can keep this one with pleasure!

  39. Rovedan-dorbaxster says:

    I feel I might cop some flack for this comment… Why don’t they put the Wolseley badge on it? The car is not MG “looking” enough for MG and Rover is not an option – it’s not as though SAIC Motor doesn’t have a number of other badges which they could use such as Austin and Morris etc…

  40. @Rovedan-dorbaxster
    Actually, some of us at AROnline reckon that SAIC Motor might, perhaps, consider reviving the Sterling marque on any new E-segment model based on the next-generation Roewe 750 for export to the UK and Europe… See this article: SAIC Motor: Off to a Sterling start? dated 13 May 2008.

  41. Richard Kilpatrick Richard Kilpatrick says:

    Doug :
    The 1.8-litre TCI Tech engine is, apparently, a substantially altered unit. I think the rumour going round is that it’ll be replaced by an all-new 2.0T within the next couple of years.

    I wonder how much of it has been changed and how many improvements could be retrofitted to an MGF/Rover/Freelander with a 1.8-litre K-Series unit. Are the block/head/gearbox mounts, new liners and block design compatible or is it more things like drive by wire, Euro V emissions, close-coupled cat and so forth with identical internals?

  42. Antonio Valdina says:

    Looks just like the 2014 Chevy Malibu I rented in May….

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