China Watch : MG6 Sports concept appears at Chengdu Motor Show

Adam Sloman 

Though the UK launch of the MG6 now looks set to be delayed until 2011, the model’s development in China is continuing apace, with the MG6 Sports concept, a show car that could signal the return of MG X POWER to the UK market. 

MG 6 Sports

While the MG6 Sports concept would appear to make use of the same 1.8 litre engine, it does feature new air intakes on the front wings and bonnet, larger alloy wheels, a larger rear spoiler and a black, M3 style roof. The MG Rover-like Union Jack/Chequer Flag badges are likely to irritate some but it is encouraging to see that the Chinese company remains keen to remind all of the marque’s UK heritage. 

The larger wheels and tyres and complimented by improved AP Racing brake calipers, while the car is noted as wearing TEIN badging on its bootlid, although at present it remains unclear what suspension components the Japanese manufacturer has provided. 

Taken at the 2010 Chengdu Motor Show, the Chinese website that ran these images suggests these tweaks are the latest work of MG’s Birmingham-based Global Design Team and refers to this latest MG6 as a ‘new benchmark car’. 

Although only a show car, it does go some way to addressing the concerns of those who perhaps felt the MG6 lacked the assertive attitude of previous MG saloons, such as the ZR and ZS. With the X POWER name now back in the SAIC Motor stable, this concept could provide the basis for the rumoured return to the British Touring Car Championship in 2011. 

Next stop for MG is the Guangzhou Motor Show in December, where it is anticipated the new MG3 will be unveiled, together with the Roewe 350-based MG5 concept. 

[Editor’s Note: AROnline wishes to thank Windy of for sourcing the images and information used in this article.]


  1. I can see what SAIC Motor were trying to do here and it’s not a bad effort but it’s typically Chinese – no imagination at all. All those badges make it look very fussy and the front headlights do little for the overall appearance.

    How good will it be to drive…?

  2. I do like this latest MG6 concept – the car looks a lot better now. I think the one bit that catches my eye in these pics is the rear quarter – the amount of metalwork between the arch and the roofline looks too expansive to my eyes. Just needs something to break it up a bit in my opinion.

  3. You can’t blame SAIC Motor for trying but, as Mr Carling said above, the proof will, indeed, be in how well this car drives. Mind you, if Autocar is to be believed, then the new car is quite a tidy handler.

    I think the car does look good and could see it fitting in well with the C4s and Golfs in my local supermarket car park. I’d like to see it in some colours that are perhaps slightly more “European”.

  4. Oooh look, it’s a Primera in drag. The boy racers will love it – it’s got all the tacky pratt-mobile bits they usually pay a mint for fitted as standard – including a tack on spoiler circa the 1981 Cavalier SRI.

    To quote the great Blackadder and sidekick:

    “It started badly, it sort of tailed off in the middle and the less said about the end the better…

    Well, we could do another one….

    Not with a bayonet through your necks you couldn’t!”

    I think they call this sort of thing ‘doing a Lehman’ in the banking world.

    Still, at least, it’s not a clubfoot…

  5. I saw a MG6 on the M40 near Warwick recently and was mildly impressed with it in the metal.

    Yes, it may not be to everyone’s taste but the Chinese have, at least, made an effort and are about to re-start car production in Longbridge, which is great news for the West Midlands.

    BMW gave us the 75, whoppy wow! BAe gave us a couple of badge-engineered Hondas and John Towers massive unemployment.

    I did like Rover 200/25 and MGF – great cars – but, let’s face facts, one was half Maestro half R8 and the other a back to front Metro though pretty good to look at and drive.

    MGs have always been made up from bits of this and bits of that which is half their appeal and no bad thing. You could say that’s the ultimate in recycling and it’s why I loved my 7 year affair with a RWA MG Midget/Frogeye Sprite/Austin A35!

    I reckon that, if Billy Bull Sh** Towers was still running the show, what we would have had by now would be another limited edition 1990s Honda Civic/Rover400/Rover45/MGZS or a re-badged Rexton/Indica/Proton/Espace etc and the promise of another new car.

    Instead, we’re getting a NEW MG which will be assembled in Birmingham!!! That’s more than can be said about the laptop I’m typing this on, the mobile phone I’ve received a call on, the Doc Martins I’m wearing, the TV in my lounge or the book on my coffee table, the table or the fridge I’ve just taken my supper from and the cooker I’ve cooked it on etc. which are all probably made in China anyway!

    P.S.: I like the MG6 Sports (can we have a mad one with a V8 please) – it’s a step in the right direction and you’ve got to start somewhere. It’s better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all.

  6. To be honest, if it wasn’t for the octagon on the grille, I would struggle to work out who had built this car – BMW, Honda, Nissan? Any one of half a dozen others?

    The TF (which has, I hear, gone backwards in terms of quality) does, at least, look like an MG and even the ZR/ZS saloons had a more individual look despite their ageing heritage.

    I worry that the latest Chinese MGs are going to get lost in the murk of mid-size mediocrity and believe that SAIC Motor need to get something out there that grabs the imagination of MG enthusiasts and lives up to the name.

    An affordable SV-type model, perhaps?

  7. @Alex Mathias
    Your point being??

    There is a lot of ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ about the new MGs – some folk feel they need to like them in case the Big Bad Men run away from Longbridge and don’t make any more. They’re basically identikit clones that are exciting to the Chinese market compared to the dross they’ve had to live with for years. They are never going to compete with the major manufacturers if this lot are the best they come up with.

    If you’re going to argue against my comments, at least try and show you’ve got some intelligence instead of pompous smart-arsed comments that (probably) make you feel so superior (you wish).

  8. @David Flower
    Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder… but to me the ZS saloon always looked an unhappy, dumpy thing and as though the boot was an afterthought – just as with the Orion, Jetta etc. of days gone by.

    The detailing on this show car is messy but it’s hard to imagine that making it into production and the basic shape is sound enough.

    This is definitely not an old hatchback with a box shoved on the back.

  9. @Paul T
    You’ve driven one, then? Sat in it? Looked round it? If not, you seem to have formed some impressively strong opinions on the back of the photos the rest of us have so far seen.

  10. @Mark Pitchford
    Has anyone?

    The first impression anyone has of a car is how it looks – you cannot argue with that.

    The fact is that the MG6 looks no better than or, for that matter different to, your generic mid-range Honda/Nissan/Ford/Vauxhall/Toyota. Take the badges off any of them and you would struggle to identify them.

    You query my opnions – I know from first-hand feedback that the current TFs coming out of Longbridge are inferior in terms of build quality and reliability to the last ones built by MGR. That to me rings warning bells – if the new cars have the same quality as the TFs they are going to struggle against the established quality competitors.

    Don’t misunderstand me – I’m a big MG fan. I have 3 – a 1974 Midget, a 2005 ZS and a 2005 TF, with another F/TF (pre-SAIC) being sought. MGs have historically been distinctive, even the saloon derivatives, over the decades. This lot aren’t and that’s my concern as, if they don’t sell in numbers, then SAIC Motor may well decide to cut their losses and let St Modwen develop the rest of the site.

    If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine. I am not going to say I like them because I feel obliged to and the impression I get is that a lot of folk are doing just that.

  11. That’s a nice looking car – especially with the black and white finish. Hopefully, there a people around the world who still want to have MGs.

    Tata and the Indians are showing the English the way with Jaguar and Land Rover. Maybe the Chinese will with MG as well.

    This will probably be the best MG so far… and, yes, I drive an MG F and have driven an MG ZS 180. Both are fun but so fragile…

  12. @Marcel from Holland
    I agree with a lot of what you say, Marcel.

    However, Tata purchased established marques with an established model base. SAIC took up the reins at MG with only a ‘new’ TF to start with and are having to design and build new models from scratch.

    SAIC have a much harder fight on their hands and I really do hope they succeed. I only worry that the first batch of cars to come from them might not necessarily be the ones that achieve that success as they don’t appear to be too innovative. If they start to lose money in any volume, they may not see Longbridge as being viable long-term.

  13. Wow! This looks fantastic, the MG story is going from strength to strength. From a personal perspective, I am really keen to test drive one and, if it drives as well as it looks, order one.

    It is great news that the SAIC Motor are preserving the MG heritage, whilst looking for new ways to innovate – TEIN, what a masterstroke!

  14. I like the colour and the alloys but am not sure about the black spoiler – I would prefer that to be colour-coded. Are there too many badges? I am also not keen on the bonnet vents but guess they are needed. Anyway, I’m still look forward to seeing the MG6 on our roads!

  15. Jemma :
    Oooh look, it’s a Primera in drag. The boy racers will love it – it’s got all the tacky pratt-mobile bits they usually pay a mint for fitted as standard – including a tack on spoiler circa the 1981 Cavalier SRI.
    To quote the great Blackadder and sidekick:
    “It started badly, it sort of tailed off in the middle and the less said about the end the better…
    Well, we could do another one….
    Not with a bayonet through your necks you couldn’t!”
    I think they call this sort of thing ‘doing a Lehman’ in the banking world.
    Still, at least, it’s not a clubfoot…

    If you don’t like MINIs or MGs, what do you like?

  16. I think this MG6 looks better but take a look at the Holden HSVs (which look as though their styling was inspired the MG SV’s). I think that (the MG SV and the Holden HSV) is what MG should be aiming for – something dramatically sporty, not sequentially modern. Alex.

  17. Alex – HSV (it stands for Holden Special Vehicles) have always had extreme looks in comparison with their regular Holden cousins. Certainly none of their current models were inspired by the SV.

    As an Aussie I don’t think MG should be trying to look like HSV, but they should certainly be aiming for something that performs and handles a bit more like an HSV!

  18. Well, since Ianto’s rather random post bought this to he front page again, I took the opportunity to re-read the previous posts (including my own!!).
    A worthwhile exercise in light what has, or hasn’t happened in the last two and a half years.
    Although sad to admit, it appears that those of us who dared to criticise have more or less been proved right and the Emperor’s subjects had misplaced their wildly optimistic loyalties.

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