MG6 : A low-key launch for three UK-spec models at the MPH Show
Words: Clive Goldthorp Photographs: Simon Davies/Pegasus Photographics
AROnline’s three-man team attended yesterday’s MPH with Top Gear Live Show at the NEC in Birmingham for the second act of MG Motor UK Limited’s launch event for the UK-specification MG6. The two versions of the MG6 Fastback on the company’s stand were accompanied by the MG ZERO Concept which, like the two MG6s, had been shown to the British public for the first time during last week’s MPH with Top Gear Live Show at Earls Court in London.
Guy Jones, MG Motor UK’s enthusiastic Sales and Marketing Director, told the relatively small group of Journalists and Dealer Principals present for the unveiling that sales of the MG6 will start in Q1/2011 with deliveries commencing during Q2/2011. However, while recommended retail prices will be announced at a later date, as a guide MG Motor UK expects the MG6 to sell from around £16,000 to £20,000.
The MG6 will be available in three trim levels: S, SE and TSE – all three will be powered by what MG Motor UK refers to as a “1.8 litre TCI Tech” turbocharged, intercooled petrol engine which develops 158bhp when matched to the standard five-speed manual transmission. The company claims that the MG6’s McPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension will ensure that the MG6 has the handling and ride qualities expected of an MG – AROnline, though, will reserve judgment on that claim until we can take an MG6 for a proper Test Drive in the New Year…
MG Motor UK says that standard equipment on the MG6 S will include a perimetric alarm and immobiliser system, driver, passenger and side airbags, 17-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured door mirrors with in-built indicators, front and rear electric windows, three-point rear seat belts, a rear ISOFIX child seat anchorage, electronic-controlled air-conditioning and an ICE package which includes a radio with RDS, CD, MP3, USB and Aux-in capability.
The SE trim level adds a satellite navigation system, a rear parking aid, a tyre pressure monitoring system, cruise control while the ICE package has a Bluetooth facility. The TSE trim level features 18-inch alloy wheels, a reverse parking aid with a rear view camera, leather sports seats (with electronic adjustment for the two front ones), automatic electronic dual-zone climate control and a satellite navigation system with a full colour display. The MG6 will be available in a total of seven colours when launched in the showrooms: solid black, red and white along with metallic silver, grey, blue and burnt orange.
AROnline took the opportunity to garner some initial feedback from several of the representatives of the MG Dealer Network who were present at yesterday’s event. Darren Chisnall from Roy Tolley MG in Colchester, Essex was clearly impressed with the fit, finish and specification of the MG6 TSE on display and said that he was looking forward to selling the car.
Graham Walker of Chester-based MG Dealer, Graham Walker Limited, was much more impressed with the two UK-spec MG6s on the stand than he had been with the Chinese-spec version which had been shown to the Dealers at the Dealer Conference back in March. However, having observed that a Vauxhall Dealership near his own premises was offering Vauxhall Insignias from £11,995, he reckoned that the entry-level MG6 S should start at nearer £13,995 – that comment was endorsed by at least one other Dealer representative to whom we spoke. MG Motor UK was hosting a Dealer Conference today and that might explain why the company has yet to issue details of the MG6’s final recommended retail prices…
MG Motor UK’s Managing Director, William Wang, was a Quality Manager at Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Company Limited back in the day and the fact that VW Group Quality Standards are being used on the MG6 assembly line should bode well for the future – AROnline’s team were, like the Dealer representatives, pretty impressed with the overall fit and finish of the two MG6s on display.
However, as Editor, Keith Adams, has already pointed out in his MG still has the power to frustrate! Blog, getting the product right might yet turn out to be only half the story…