MG ZERO Concept : UK debutant wows the crowds at the MPH Show

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Words: Adam Sloman Photographs: Simon Davies/Pegasus Photographics

The £1,000,000 MG ZERO Concept

Joining the UK-spec MG6 on the MG Motor UK stand at the MPH Show was the MG ZERO Concept, which, according to Guy Jones, the company’s Sales and Marketing Director, ‘shows the direction for the smaller range of cars to follow MG6.’

Small MGs from the MG 1300 of the 1960s to the MG Metro of the 1980s and, most recently, the ZR  have always been something of a success. AROnline has reported on the ZERO Concept before but this is the first time we’ve been able to get up close and personal with the car.

Described by Guy Jones as ‘a million pound concept car,’ the ZERO is the second MG from the UK-based Design Team led by Anthony Williams-Kenny and it shows a clear family resemblance with the bigger MG6.  In five-door configuration, it’s reminiscent of Skoda’s Fabia vRS, while the floating roof, with it’s Union Flag motif, has more than a hint of MINI about it.

The front is dominated by a large MG octagon, with the bonnet flowing down into the badge. The rear end features large, swooping lights with another large MG octagon proudly on show and an unusual message display for following drivers (sure to enrage tail-gaters!). An octagonal, centre exhaust further reinforces the ZERO’s sporty attitude.

Interior is pure show-car

MG was keen to demonstrate how much of the ZERO is real, taking time to point out the floor and much of the panel work is the same as the upcoming MG3.

The ZERO’s interior is pure show-car stuff, with touch screens and a floating centre console dominating the inside.  Sitting inside the ZERO, it feels open and airy, with decent visibility, despite the concept’s tall MG-branded headrests.

Speaking with Guy Jones about the ZERO, he refused to be drawn on the specifics of the small car, saying its future in Britain was dependent on the public’s reaction to it, what work was required for the UK market and the success of its bigger brother, the MG6. However, with TF production continuing into 2011 and 6 production beginning, it seems unlikely we will see the new small MG in the UK much before 2012.

The Dealer representatives we spoke to were all desperately keen to have a production version of the ZERO in their showrooms – the success of cars such as Citroen’s DS3 and the aforementioned Fabia vRS certainly shows there is an appetite for small, powerful premium hatchbacks. Hopefully, that and the public’s predominately positive response to the ZERO Concept, will encourage MG Motor UK to expedite any plans for the UK launch of the production version…

The ZR was the best-selling member of MG Rover’s Zed range and, despite being out of production for almost six years (in the UK at least), the last octagon-wearing hot hatch still enjoys a loyal following.

The ZERO is an impressive little car and, with the right engine and all-important personalisation options, could give MG the mass market-appeal and sales neccessary for the brand’s rebirth to succeed.

Let us know what you think of the MG ZERO…

[Editor’s Note: A Gallery containing Simon Davies of Pegasus Photographics other photographs from the MG stand at the NEC’s MPH with Top Gear Live Show can be found here.]