News : MG at Auto China 2012

Keith Adams

Although the spotlight was firmly on the Icon in Beijing, the show also saw the launch of MG’s BTCC special editions, as well as the ‘RedLine’ series of modifications, intended to strengthen the marque’s sporting identity. MG, which is still a very young company in China, is pushing hard to bolster its youthful image.

The BTCC editions, designed to capitalise on the marque’s current Touring Car Championship Programme, feature bold graphics with contrasting stripes and large MG logos. A more aggressive front bumper and side skirts also suitably beef-up the exterior styling. RedLine is an additional package, which introduces red interior features (including seatbelts!) and stripes.

The striking looking special editions, which are available across the 3, 5, and 6 ranges, were designed in the UK. We also managed to get a close look at the MG3 and MG5 for the first time and both models – which were styled in the UK – look very good indeed. The smaller car’s interior is nicely designed with reasonable interior quality, but the 5’s plastics and trim fabrics left a lot to be desired. Both cars will be thoroughly overhauled in the run-up to their UK launches – the former, late in 2012, and the latter not until mid-2013 at the very earliest. It’s understood, too, that the MG3 needed work at the front end in order to meet European pedestrian safety testing.



Keith Adams


  1. Despite any other reservations, the MG5 & 6 both look good in these photos. I think (and hope) that the new MG’s progress in the UK will gain momentum… it is after all their original home country!

  2. Yes nice to see MG now getting on the map, and with Jason Plato and his team mate doing well on the recent car races. Regards Mark

  3. I love the idea of the Red Line package. In the UK this could potentially be used as more of a sub-brand, rather like X-Power was, to convey upgrades to engine power, more aggressive styling aids and even be-spoke features. Who knows, but in the medium and long term, Red Line influences could potentially be used for underpinning lower volume specialist editions that could create a more aspirational appeal for the models on which they are based.

    It may have a less sporting conviction in China but a more aspirational Red Line sub-brand, together with some more dynamic and convincing marketing could help sharpen current perceptions of the MG6 and the MG brand in general.

  4. @David 3k5 (#3): I agree that the ‘Red-Line’ sub-brand is a real cracker …… it was used by GM until recently in their sublime and ultra-sexy ‘Saturn Sky’ top-end, performance versions (well, until that Division was killed off, anyway).
    So, I’m wondering about the ‘moniker’ ownership, right now …..
    {Saturn Sky // Opel GT // Daewoo G2X = drop-dead gorgeous cabrio}.

  5. More heritage. “Leyland Redline” was the sub-brand used for the former BMC trucks after the formation of British Leyland.

    I wonder if it’s merely coincidental…

  6. Are there any more pics of the MG display, it does look a tad understated (apart from the Icon, of course) Were the 3 & 5 being pushed much?

  7. 6 and 5 look good in the snazzy new mods – they actually look sporting and rather good looking. 3 does look a bit dubiously proportioned – and the 6’s rear end is rather naff looking.

  8. The most important thing is that these cars sell internationally – Austin Rover/ Rover Group (cars) and MGR became too reliant on the UK market. From some of the comments above, looks like the reverse may be true of MG Motor!

  9. Very nice to look at, but I’d rather a power upgrade came with the extra styling myself. Loving the red seatbelts though!

  10. @Ritchie B

    The question keeps being asked – did anyone at GM or SAIC think of shifting the Sky / Solstice tooling from Wilmington to China as the basis for a new MG?

    Its Kappa platform seems to live on as the Alpha platform, a lower cost rwd platform seen underpinning the Chevrolet Code 130R concept, a sort of BMW 1 series clone.

    It seems to be dawning on SAIC that the MG range needs a sports car for credibility. Let’s hope GM are not too precious about sharing a very suitable platform.

  11. “It seems to be dawning on SAIC that the MG range needs a sports car for credibility”. Then the BTCC version of the MG6 needs 200BHP+, get the boys at prodrive to work out the suspension and ride, and give it a decent AMG’esque or M3’esque halo appeal with letters like BRM or some other sitting in the closet!

  12. Come on MG UK, I’m looking to buy a new MG6 and would definitly go for the redline treatment, it looks great.
    A more powerful engine is required too though, MG is all about sporting heritage, not pootling around town!
    A triple 8 treatment on the curent MG6 and taking advantage of the BTCC publicity should see sales figure improve. Get an advert on ITV4 during the touring car coverage!!!!

  13. Great job! The Redline treatment is going in the right direction to reach younger drivers in the UK and in continental Europe where “Made In England” MGs must reach showrooms as soon as possible to boost production and workforce in the UK.

  14. I see ‘Morris Garages’ is still prelevant, what part is this playing in the brand? It’s strange seeing ‘Morris’ in 21st century fonts, does Morris exist or not?

  15. The mention of Scalextric made me wonder if MG could somehow encourage the production of an MG6 BTCC set to be sold through Tescos etc.

    They could put resistors in Andy Neate’s car (did they accidentally fit his with a TCi Tech or something?), whilst Plato’s could have a magnet on the front with a corresponding one to fit to other BTCC cars, as well as a random mechanism to just fling it off the track yet somehow go faster than everything else anyway.

  16. With additional bodykits and larger power units will also come larger list prices.

    The Magnette with 158BHP already lists circa 20k.

    Will people pay upwards of 30k for a performance version of the 6 ?

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