AROnline seems to have beaten most of the Internet-based, English-language motoring media off the line by running Nigel Garton’s First Drive story on the MG6 last December. However, following SAIC Motor’s confirmation that production of the MG6 will begin at MG Birmingham before the end of this year, MG Motor UK Limited has now started a pre-launch media initiative here in the UK.
Autocar’s Chief Road Tester, Matt Prior, and The Sun’s Motoring Correspondent, Ken Gibson, are, to date, the only two UK-based Motoring Journalists to have been invited to drive pre-production versions of the MG6 on British roads. AROnline readers can access the relevant articles via these links: MG go fastback to the future, The Sun, 1st April, 2010 and MG6 First Drive, Autocar, 9th April, 2010.
Interestingly, Autocar’s Matt Prior reckons that ‘the MG6 is already (and there’s still some tweaking to do) borderline best in class.’ Head of Chassis, Andy Kitson, admitted that he and his colleagues had used the current MY10 Ford Focus as the benchmark for handling and ride. Ken Gibson confirms that the MG6 has ‘the handling you’d expect of an MG saloon – it handles and steers superbly and British expertise shines through.’
AROnline, though, still maintains that, at least in terms of size, the MG6 should properly be regarded as a D-segment contender. The MG6’s dimensions are, after all, much closer to those of, say, the BMW 3-Series, Honda Accord, Mazda 6 and Seat Exeo than to those of most C-segment models (1). Indeed, Ken Gibson confirms as much when he says that ‘the MG6 fastback is just the start of a family of new MGs (to be launched) over the next five years that will include a large saloon, a Focus-sized hatchback and a new Fiesta rival.’
No MG model family would be complete without a new TF-replacing roadster and MG6 Design Team Leader, Tony Williams-Kenny, told The Sun’s Gibson that he and his Design Team have plenty of ideas for the next generation TF. However, whether or not the Design Team’s ideas bear any resemblance to the renderings recently commissioned by Auto Express remains to be seen… The return of MG! Auto Express, 9th April, 2010 may be a purely speculative story but much of the information in the article does seem to correspond pretty accurately with that already given to AROnline by our own informed and reliable sources.
Watch this space for AROnline’s own UK-based First Drive story on the MG6 and, hopefully, more news about MG’s other new models, including the TF replacement, in the coming weeks…
[Editor’s Note: (1) Data obtained from carpages.co.uk’s Car Buyers’ Guide.]
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