News : MG CS SUV and EV Concepts make public debut at MG90

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Clive Goldthorp

MG Motor UK chose last weekend’s MG Car Club-promoted MG90 event at Silverstone to introduce two significant new concept vehicles to the wider British public for the first time – the MG CS SUV Concept and the MG EV Concept both give an interesting glimpse of the direction which the storied MG marque will be taking during the next phase of the company’s business plan.

The MG CS SUV Concept

CS CONCEPT 008

The MG CS SUV Concept, which was originally, unveiled in China at Auto Shanghai 2013, has been designed and developed by SAIC Design’s UK Team led by UK Design Director, Martin Uhlarik. MG Motor UK describes the car as an ‘Urban Sports SUV Concept’ and says that a production version will be one of four new MG models included in the Future Product Programme for launch between now and 2020.

The Design Team at SAIC Motor UK Technical Centre (SMTC UK) see the CS SUV Concept as a progressive extension of the MG brand’s design language and key features include exterior surfacing with a full body section which demonstrates classic British volume, colour accents, bold forms and graphics which reflect MG’s sporting DNA and a strong sense of British identity as evinced by the deconstructed Union Jack graphic on the front wings. The wraparound screen, floating roof graphic and kick up-featuring C-pillar are a continuation of a theme begun with the MG ZERO Concept, MG3 and MG Icon Concept. The frontal graphic is a clear evolution of the MG Front Face graphic with strong feature lines around the MG badge.

The production version of the CS SUV Concept will slot into the compact C-segment SUV sector – one of the fastest growing areas of the global automotive market – and will therefore compete with the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and, in terms of size, if not price, the Range Rover Evoque. However, while the production version seems likely to be the next new model to reach MG showrooms here and in China, MG Motor UK has not, as yet, disclosed any information about final specifications, the pricing structure or a definitive launch date.

The MG EV Concept

MGEV001

MG Motor UK also took the Roewe E50-based MG EV Concept to Silverstone for MG90. The EV Concept was originally unveiled at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT’s) London headquarters in April but this was the A/B-segment straddling car’s first exposure to a wider British audience.

SMTC UK has developed the EV Concept in order to test public reaction and points to the fact that combined UK sales of A-segment and B-segment EVs are growing – B-segment EV sales alone have grown from a year-ending May, 2012 figure of 1615 units to a year-ending May, 2014 total of 9379. Government incentives and low total ownership costs are attracting early adopters.

MG Motor UK cites the UK National Travel Survey, 2012 in explanation of the increase in EV sales – according to the latter, the average annual mileage for a private car in the UK is 7800 miles while the average annual commuting mileage is just 2500 miles so, for most, that means an average of around 10 miles a day. The company therefore believes that a small, lightweight EV is ideal for such journeys.

The MG EV Concept has an under floor Lithium Ion Phosphate (LFP) battery with a capacity of 18kWh, a front-mounted permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM), front-wheel drive and a CVT transmission. The PMSM produces 70bhp at 8000rpm and 114lb ft of torque while, with a kerb weight of 1080kg, the EV Concept has a top speed of 81mph and will go from 0-62mph in 14.6 seconds. The car’s range is realistically 50 to 70 miles and CO2 emissions are 0g/km. Standard charging (220V – 240V) takes six hours while a rapid charge (380V – 400V) takes 30 minutes for an 80 per cent charge.

MGEV016

A number of the MG enthusiasts who attended MG90 last Saturday were invited by MG Motor UK to an exclusive preview of the MG EV Concept during an hour-long MG Experience presentation which was hosted in the Pit Complex on Silverstone’s Stowe circuit. AROnline therefore took the opportunity to ask one such MG owner for his thoughts on the car. Simon Davies, who hails from the Wirral, owns not only an MG6 Magnette 1.8 TSE and an MG TF 85th Anniversary but also a Toyota Yaris 1.5 VVT-i Hybrid CVT Trend, which he uses for his work – in short, MG Motor UK would probably target any production version of the MG EV Concept at someone with Mr. Davies’ profile.

Mr. Davies, who describes himself as a stocky 6ft 1in, found the EV Concept’s driving position to be very comfortable and remarked on the very clear instrumentation. He reckoned that the car would be easy to drive and would be ideal for his job which involves a lot of short, stop-start journeys. However, the range of 50 to 70 miles quoted by MG Motor UK (when using, for instance, the wipers and heater etc. normally) was a little too low for his average pattern of daily usage. Mr. Davies thought that any production version of the EV Concept might need to be fitted with some form of Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) in order to extend the range – that said, if the range was extended to, say, 120 miles, he would buy one. The launch of the EV Concept was, in any event, certainly taking the MG marque in a positive direction.

MG Motor UK is reportedly waiting for a European consensus on a universal charging socket design to be reached before making any decision about turning the EV Concept into a production reality. However, if and when that happens, there must be a good chance that the production version will be price-competitive with the likes of the Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen e-up! because much of the development costs will have already be borne by the Roewe E50 – a car that is, of course, already on sale in SAIC Motor’s home city of Shanghai.

Clive Goldthorp

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

22 Comments

  1. The CS looks fine, if very derivative of every other soft roader out there. I do worry about comments like these though

    “a strong sense of British identity as evinced by the deconstructed Union Jack graphic on the front wings”

  2. Is it just me, or dose the softroader one look extremely high off the ground?

    I appreciate that that’s the look that they are going for, but most of those type of cars manage that without being jacked up that far.

  3. Cant say I’m interested in any SUV – too big and not necessary for most people but I admit I am probably in a minority in saying that. Any future MG I buy would need to be a 5 door hatch (ZS style)or something of that ilk.

    • Agreed, Hilton. I must be in the same minority as you. To me the SUV is more travel than driving. Fair enough, if this is what many now want but I like you would want a modern day ZR, ZS type of car.

  4. like em both modern and within keeping of all other manufacturers, nobody wants retro so i think these are the way to go!! well done MG..

  5. SUV? not for me.
    I guess I’m in the minority, but I don’t like any of the SUV type cars.
    I just find them to be ugly, pointless cars. (- Nissan Joke especially)
    MG and SUV just seems wrong… but judging by the amount of SUV’s on the road, I suppose this it what the majority want.
    If MG are to compete – then unfortunately,so be it.

  6. agree Daren, i have a disco 1 tdi, it works hard not just for show or trend. landrover are the originals i guess but they can take the rough stuff unlike all those silly suv 2 wheel drive wannabes!!!

  7. yetch.. that EV thing. Im sure most of the members of 11/12 group are spinning in their graves fast enough to light Eastbourne. Its downright insulting to associate this automotive turd with the RFC/RAF. Added to that its actually managed to be uglier than the Prius and seems to have been “styled” by the expedient of “draw some triangles, plaster on some DRLs, headlights, taillights and off a clio job lot £600 a set alloys – and its pub o’clock”. Has anyone else noticed incidentally, that they’ve flat out nicked the badge carrier from a written off Nissan Leaf at a London scrappie?
    Will someone please please please just do the honourable thing and sign the release to take poor MG off the life support machines…

  8. “British identity as evinced by the deconstructed Union Jack graphic on the front wings”. don’t make me laugh! Why are they so intent on trying camouflaging what this car is. For me, its doesn’t remotely remind me or have the feel of an MG even though they ridiculously add “Morris garages” to the badge and over compensate by adding a “deconstructed Union Jack” boy racer graphic on it, which just lacks any form of stylish input.
    These guys are really making fools of themselves.
    Take the ridiculous graphics off and put a Roewe badge on it then they may gain some respect and it would make a far finer cut that actually looks OK……sigh

    • No, they’re not remotely like an MG pre 1980. They’re hardly a 2000’s Zed car either. However, this does not stop them being a MODERN MG Many marques have changed hands, ended up being part of a bigger parent. SAIC cars can become modern day MG’s with sufficient Longbridge input, re-engineering to reflect traditional MG values.

      • You said it all Dave “sufficient Longbridge input” which is a problem for me Dave.
        Agree, not like the pre 80s cars but they need to understand MG’s heritage first and what made it special and not just read a book on it. Making a car in the far east, put some bits on it in the UK, stick a badge on and wave the “Jack” isn’t enough.
        One thing Rover did right before it relaunched MG with the RV8 and F, was to look at what the public’s perception is of MG. SAIC just make a car they want and put the badge on it without doing the ground work or having the respect for the Far east or European public, then wonder why know one is buying it.
        Without the stickers, these car look OK…………… True British heritage, uniqueness, respect, real manufacturing is what separates TATAs JLR operation to SAICS attempt at mass market MG’s.

  9. They both look good to me. MG has finally got the funds to release current cars instead of using 10 year old tech borrowed from elsewhere.

    Unfortunately the MG haters seem to be out in force on here again.

    Seriously guys, maybe try some constructive criticism if you dont like the products – the ‘MG shouldve been left to die’ stuff is sooooo boring now – its been 6 years!

    Or just dont read the MG related stories if theyre only going to make you feel angry.

  10. Slartybartfast – you are posting negative comments on every piece of MG related literature that I read – from Auto Express to AROnline to various forums.

    Try doing something positive with your life instead of spending countless hours trying to ruin sales for MG Motor and its 100s of British employees at Longbridge.

    Maybe a girlfriend?!

    • What are you talking about Craig. I DON’T comment on Auto Express forum (sure I read the magazine) or any other modern car FORUM, so get your facts right!!! You’re yet another buffoon who constantly goes on this web site telling people what they can and cannot say, well forget it Mr Sad man, trawling the internet looking for my comments. I was supporting MG’s when they were MG’s and not a sticker on a car and you were in your Nappies.
      I support investment and UK industry but only if its genuine. Putting aside the engineers, which they need because of the skill set that they don’t have in quantity in their home market. The SAIC Longbridge “MG'” investment is so far just a front to give it British Heritage to sell in the far east, which I don’t support because its a con. If it were a Roewe, then I wouldn’t berate but celebrate the SAIC input into the UK economy because it would be genuine like Nissan, Toyota or Honda.
      I’ll start supporting them when Longbridge is a proper assembly plant. It doesn’t even have to be full manufacturing as the Mini is.
      Its my opinion and I doubt any MG car buyer is interested in my comment on ARONLINE anyway. So trying to accuse me of affecting MG sales is not only laughable but down right ridiculous. Get out of your insular bubble. This forum is for guys chewing the fat and voicing their opinion, so don’t take it too seriously.
      By the way I have a Wife so i don’t need a girlfriend. With a name like England it wouldn’t surprise me if you are a Sockpuppet anyway. Maybe a career in the Russian press would be better for you instead of surfing for my comments. I’m sure they’d love you.

  11. If its retail price is half that of a Kuga then it must be worth a test drive.

    It will be considered as a replacement for my 190,000 mile Discovery.

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