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.