China Watch : The next generation Roewe 750 revealed?

Clive Goldthorp 

2013 Roewe 750
The next generation MY13 Roewe 750?

AROnline’s colleague in China, Ash Sutcliffe of China Car Times, has just obtained these two renderings of what appears to be the next generation Roewe 750 which will, we believe, be based on General Motors’ Epsilon II platform – that platform already underpins the Buick Regal and Opel/Vauxhall Insignia in short wheelbase form and the Buick LaCrosse and Saab 9-5 in long wheelbase form. 

The car shown in the renderings clearly represents a radical departure from the traditional British design which the current Roewe 750 inherited from the Rover 75. However, although an MG7 (or MG8?)-badged derivative of the next generation Roewe 750 will probably be developed for the Chinese market, that may not reach Europe – MG Motor UK Limited’s Sales and Marketing Director, Guy Jones, certainly has some reservations about whether or not there would be sufficient demand for an MG-badged, E-segment competitor over here. 

AROnline interviewed Mr. Jones back in May and, when asked about an MG7/Roewe 750 replacement, he replied: ” whilst there’s clearly a market in China for an E-segment MG model, there’s a question mark over the size of the European market for E-segment models outside of those from established European premium manufacturers such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. 

“I’m not ruling out the possibility of an E-segment MG model being launched in the UK and Europe but we would need to establish the business case and that’s not a priority – we’re concentrating on the B,C and D-segments first as that’s in line with current market trends.” 

All the General Motors and Saab models which share the Epsilon II platform use the former’s Ecotec engines but AROnline reckons that SAIC Motor probably aims to have the SMTC UK-developed New Large Engine (NLE) readied for production in time to coincide with the launch of the next generation MY13 Roewe 750 in Q4/2012. Hopefully, by then, Guy Jones and his colleagues at MG Motor UK will be able to make a convincing business case for an MG derivative… 

2013 Roewe 750
The next generation MY13 Roewe 750?
Clive Goldthorp


  1. This is, on the whole, a nice-looking exterior design and quite contemporary: why can’t the MGs shown to date look this good? I still don’t like these Roewe grilles though: if this design is meant to convey upmarket aspirations, then it doesn’t do it for me.

    I’ve also some reservations about the dipping waistline, which might date the car over time but, with model cycles being what they are in China, we might not get to ever worry about that. I imagine that, without this feature, the car could look quite bland. The better view is that rear three-quarters you have posted: this looks quite smart.

  2. I’m sorry, but this looks like some kind of cross between an Alfa 166 and a Toyota Camry. The Rover 75 was achingly gorgeous at its launch – remember, it even had Clarkson drooling over it. This car’s styling, like the MG6’s, just doesn’t measure up.

    The appeal of Rover (and, years back, Austin) cars for me was that they always, somehow, looked right. For me, even the bad looking ones, like the Maestro, had a certain presence about them.

    It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what it was, but I had suspected it had been lost since the Chinese took over. This new design of 750 confirms my fears.

  3. We can finally lay the corpse of MGR to rest once this hits the market. The current Roewe 750 was only ever going to be a short term lift-and-shift model and it’s about time that people got used to the fact that MGR has been dead for half a decade.

    SAIC/MG do not deserve our loyalty as they have nothing to do with MGR other than currently producing some old MGR cars that are long past their sell-by date.

    If you feel patriotic, buy a Honda, MINI, Nissan or Toyota – at least it will have been built by a British worker in a British factory using many British-supplied components.

  4. Awful – at best, this looks like a Lexus rip-off. Mind you, I don’t think putting an MG badge on that would be any more of an affront than putting it on that “MG3” thing, which looks more like a 1990s Daihatsu.

    Sadly, I agree with Richard above. I can’t see myself ever buying a post-Zed MG. I’d rather have a Honda, not only because it would be more British, but also because it would have significantly more character.

  5. I’m used to seeing Epsilon II-based models now and I don’t know why it’s so easy to spot them – if someone put a picture of this in front of me, I wouldn’t have been able to name the brand (Saturn? Is that you?), but I could’ve told you it had an Epsilon II platform.

    The grille of this has no tie whatsoever to the ex-Rover models – it almost reminds me of Kia’s current grille (vertically pinched in the middle) and most of Chrysler’s forthcoming models (blade-like horizontal slats).

    I do think that it’s an attractive car (easy enough to do when starting with Epsilon II), but I can understand especially why it would be so disappointing to people who follow Roewe because of the Rover heritage. This signals a clear departure from Rover and is also a super clear indication that this model will never be destined to roll out of the Longbridge factory.

  6. Not a bad looking car, but it looks very much like a re-work of a Chevrolet Cruze, Toyota Avensis or Vauxhall Insignia to me.

    Yes, I agree it signals an end to UK MG Rover designs and heritage but, as it is over 5 years since MGR closed down, I suppose we have to get used to that and see what the future holds for MG Motor UK…

  7. I agree with Richard Moss. I think it really is time we drew a line under the glorious but tragic tale of Austin/Rover/MG/BL/ARG/MGR. These new cars and SAIC Motor/Roewe have nothing to do with the old companies and just don’t appeal to the old customer base and enthusiasts.


  8. MG is/will be just a badge – by the time that this generic, anodyne machine reaches the market it will have NOTHING to do with the old company and the sooner that people realise that the better.

    Longbridge will, at best, do a little local finishing on Chinese-built products. Burnaston, Cowley, Swindon and Washington are, at least, proper car factories putting real money and real jobs into their local economies.

    MG is history – it was nice whilst it lasted but it’s all over now and I can’t see why there is such interest in these unrelated (and uninspiring) products. I believe that, in so far as MG is concerned, we can look back at some great cars but the future has nothing to do with that history.

  9. @Richard Moss
    AROnline strives to be the leading English language, Internet-based aggregator for BMC>MG-related Automotive Industry news – we believe that the majority of AROnline’s readers are as interested in the future of all the surviving BMC>MG marques – Jaguar, Land Rover, MINI and MG – as they are in their history…

    Anyway, to say that “MG is history” does a grave disservice to the 300 or so British Designers and Engineers (including many former MGR employees) who are developing the new family of MGs for SAIC Motor at SMTC UK’s facility in Birmingham.

    SAIC Motor’s plans to re-establish the MG marque may or may not succeed – no one can predict the future – but, based on the information available, we would not advise anyone to bet against that success…

  10. OK, if a few people in the UK are employed in developing next generation MGs and Roewes, then that’s great, but the idea that somehow they would be the saviour of the British car industry was always optimistic.

    The real inheritors of the BL legacy are JLR, developing and producing great British products. Remember, also, that JLR have Gaydon, where Rovers used to be developed.

  11. @Mike C
    A fair point… However, we would all do well to remember that SAIC Motor has started from a much lower base with MG here in the UK than Tata Motors did with Jaguar and Land Rover.

    Mind you, for me, that just makes monitoring and reporting on the unfolding SAIC Motor/MG story all the more fascinating!

  12. @Clive Goldthorp
    Sorry, but I reckon that SAIC Motor/MG is a busted flush as far as the UK is concerned. My expectation is that, before long, they will have little or no representation here. I would love to think that they will create and sustain hundreds of British jobs but I just can’t see that happening.

    They have been breaking promises almost since the word go – we were due to have full-scale car production back under way at Longbridge years ago and look at what we got: final “assembly” of 500 MG TFs that the Dealers couldn’t sell.

    @Simon Woodward
    Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus, Morgan etc. can all be “taken as read” in my post. I chose the four examples that I did because they are volume car makers and therefore more directly comparable to MG’s line-up and, of course, I should have added Vauxhall at Ellesmere Port. I see a bright future for Jaguar Land Rover under Tata Motors because they are committed to the UK.

  13. @Richard Moss
    Nanging Automobile (Group) Corporation (NAC) and the re-named MG Motor UK Limited have only been subsidiaries of SAIC Motor Corporation Limited (SAIC Motor)since the 1st April, 2008 – the promises to which you refer were, to the best of my recollection, made before that date.

    NAC’s delay in re-commencing production of the MG TF at Longbridge may, at least in part, have been attributable to the time taken to negotiate what was effectively SAIC Motor’s takeover of the company during much of 2007.

    SAIC Motor has, as mentioned above, had to start from a much lower base with MG here in the UK than Tata Motors did with Jaguar and Land Rover and, for that reason, a direct comparison between the two companies may not be entirely fair.

    Indeed, because of that, we should not, perhaps, draw any conclusions about the extent of SAIC Motor’s commitment to the MG brand and the UK for another two or three years. AROnline reckons that, only then, will we have a clearer understanding of what the medium to long-term future holds for MG Birmingham…

  14. @Clive Goldthorp
    The timing of the promises is largely irrelevant – NAC made promises and failed to deliver BEFORE the takeover by SAIC Motor and have, so far, delivered nothing since other than the failure that was the TF LE500.

    When you say “AROnline reckons” are you saying “Clive Goldthorp reckons” or do you speak for EVERYONE on AROnline and are they all 100% in agreement with you? As I said, I would love to believe that NAC/SAIC will create many UK jobs but shall we revisit this thread in the two or three years that you require and see who was right? I will claim my winner’s medal then!

    If you read my posts you will see that I didn’t actually compare the “new” MG company to JLR – I spoke of them in isolation because they are NOT competitors. Isn’t SAIC Motor’s “low starting point” largely of their own making? They chose to lift and shift, after all!

  15. @Richard Moss
    I’m afraid I have to agree with you here. The new ‘MGs’ being designed and produced by SAIC Motor seem to have very little in common with the traditional MG brand, except the badging.

    I have no problem with the cars themselves – they may be capable of competing with contemporary Fords, Toyotas and so on but they are not real MGs or, for that matter, real Rovers. The new model depicted here is quite attractive, albeit brash. I wish it well – but I really hope they don’t sell it with an MG badge.

  16. @Richard Moss
    This last point is an extremely good one. They didn’t have to have a “low starting point” – they could have kept the company going, they could have retained manufacturing equipment and staff at Longbridge. Instead, they chose to shut it all down and lift and shift.

    I rate this website extremely highly in the main, but I have to say I think it’s a bit of a disgrace that you give NAC/SAIC such an easy, sycophantic ride.

  17. I’ve just laughed my way through the comments about MGR being dead blah blah blah. Yes, let’s go back to the heady days of Rover breathing over Honda designs shall we!?!?!?!?! Just remember that, from what I can gather, the only clean sheet design to come out of Longbridge in over twenty years was the 75!!

    This is just a rendering of a possible 750 replacement on the Insignia platform! How is the Honda-derived MG ZS any more relevant than an Opel-derived 75? Funny how we fondly remember the 600 (Accord) 45/ZS (Domani) 25/ZR (Concerto with Maestro rear end) but platform sharing is somehow wrong when the Chinese are involved… This time, at least, Brits are designing the entire look of the car rather than having to work skillfully around carry over doors etc.

  18. I have to say all of these latest MG designs look terrible – there is nothing special about them and this rendering looks like it has just rolled off a Vauxhall production line. Where has the unique MG flair gone?

    I have always had MG Rover cars but I will not be buying this Chinese re-incarnation with an MG badge…

  19. I’m sorry, but this rendition of a Roewe 750 replacement doesn’t do anything for me, regardless of what badge it may or may not have on its grille. Nothing about this car shows any form of association with Rover’s heritage (as in the marque, not the convenenient corporate name), which is another reason why I don’t warm to it.

    However, Rover heritage does live on indirectly in the new Land Rover models. The current Range Rover has all the presence and elegance of the old P5B and the Range Rover Sport has a slant towards driver-focused dynamics that was last seen in the P6.

    For me, buying a British car which has a more intrinsic relationship with the former Rover name and is still made in this country, will mean buying a Land Rover product.

    There are some very good comments on this site about NAC/SAIC’s broken promises and failure to deliver…

  20. I consider that the takeover of the MG marque creates an opportunity to resurrect at least one of the old BMC/BL/ARG/Rover Group/MG Rover brands and reckon that we should, at least, give the Chinese a chance.

    I like the look of both the MG6 Hatchback and Saloon and the new MG3 Hatchback – both have a different look but, by the time the two oldest Rovers were madeover as MGs, the company was going downhill and the only credible car they had was the Rover 75/MG ZT.

    My father drove a 2000 X Plate Rover 75 2.0 V6 Classic for 8 years and when, he sold it just over 2 years ago, the car had exactly 102,990 miles on the clock from new. The only items he ever had to replace on the car were the tyres, a clutch cable and an engine management switch so there’s British Engineering at its best – with, of course, a little help from the Germans. He now drives an 08/58 Skoda Octavia 2.0 vRS and so far, touchwood, everything is running well – again thanks in part to the Germans. How ironic that is…

    I recall, if my memory serves me correctly, that one of the businessmen who expressed an interest in acquiring MGR’s assets back in 2005 claimed that he had access to upwards of £10 billion in funds and intended put the firm into hibernation for at least 5 years to give them time to develop the following new models:

    Model 1 – New MG Midget Sportscar and new MG ZR – Chassis Share
    Model 2 – New MG TF Sportscar and new MG ZS – Chassis Share
    Model 3 – New Rover 75 4-Door Saloon and 5-Door Estate
    Model 4 – Proposed Rover Large People Carrier
    Model 5 – Austin Healey Sportscar with, possibly, a V8 or V10

    That tells an interesting story: MG with Small and Medium-sized Hatchbacks and Sportscars, Rover with a new Executive Saloon and Estate and a Large People Carrier and, possibly, an Austin Healey Sportscar with a V8 or V10 engine as a flagship model.

    Sadly, as we now know, that was not to be…

  21. @Richard Moss
    SAIC Motor cannot legimately be held responsible for the pre-takeover NAC’s failure to resume MG TF production at Longbridge – the two companies were, after all, two entirely seperate, independently-owned legal entities with their own Boards and Senior Management Teams etc. prior to the 1st April, 2008. My comment that SAIC Motor started at “a much lower base with MG” referred back to that date and not before.

    However, in the interests of factual accuracy, while SAIC Motor may have acquired the IPRs to the Rover 25, Rover 75 and K-Series engine for £67m in August, 2004, NAC acquired all the remaining assets of MG Rover Group Limited (including the assembly lines at Longbridge) from the company’s Administrators for a reported £53m in July, 2005 and began the “lift and shift” operation to which you refer in September, 2005 – SAIC Motor was not, therefore, responsible for that…

    Indeed, had the alternative Magma Holdings Limited/SAIC Motor bid of £60m been accepted by the Administrators back in July, 2005, then full-scale car production might even have returned to Longbridge by, say, 2006 or, at the latest, 2007.

    My comment about drawing a comparison between SAIC Motor/MG and Tata Motors/JLR was simply an observation prompted by your remark about the latters’ prospects – not an accusation. Please accept my apologies if you have misinterpreted that.

    AROnline does not “give NAC/SAIC… an easy, sycophantic ride.” However, what the Editorial Team does aim to do is to report on the News stories which we believe will be of interest to our readers in an accurate, objective, professional and, where appropriate, entertaining manner. Hopefully, most of those readers share our dedication to factual accuracy…

    Oh, and yes, I do have our Editor, Keith Adams’, authority to speak on behalf of AROnline.

  22. Calm down, calm down!

    This is a great looking car and, although it may not come here, it shows that SAIC Motor are serious about MG and Roewe.

    I know that many of us still mourn the loss of Austin Rover, but we can take some solace from the work that SAIC Motor are doing – MG is alive and not many of us thought that it would be five years after the P4 collapse.

    Big up to SAIC Motor!

  23. I looked at the pictures of the China-built MY13 Roewe 750 my first thought was that its styling looks good for the size of car, but don’t most cars of this size today have the same familiar looks? Should we not be more concerned about comfort, emissions, MPG, reliabilty and the quality of the after sales service?

    I own a British-made Rover 75 CDTi automatic and have had it from new – it’s a superb car, with a BMW engine and gearbox. I’ve never regreted buying the car even though Rover closed the week after my purchase.

  24. Wilko – we must get back on message.

    “Hooray, hooray – a Chinese-styled Vauxhall which will be built in China, shipped to the UK 95% complete, have the grille and headlights fitted at Longbridge and all the profits will go back to China.”

  25. Sorry – for reasons of factual accuracy, I must change that to “MAY be shipped to the UK 95% complete…”

  26. @Richard Moss
    Yes, I have to say that, although I didn’t intend to cause offence and I genuinely do find the vast majority of articles on AROnline “accurate, objective, professional and, where appropriate, entertaining” to use Clive’s words, you could be forgiven for thinking that certain articles have come straight from SAIC Motor’s Marketing Department.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s excellent if we get some new jobs at Longbridge out of this, but recent history makes me sceptical. Indeed, given the number of jobs lost in 2005, not to mention all the heritage completely wiped out without any consideration, it’s obvious that whatever we get is going to be a massive net loss.

    In my view, if SAIC Motor want to be respected by the British motoring public they have two choices: either use the MG brand properly by investing in British design and manufacturing or lay it to rest and leave us with our good memories.

    All they seem to be doing at the moment is trashing the MG name by sticking the Octagon on any old foreign-derived junk and hoping it helps them shift a few more units.

  27. It beats me why SAIC Motor set out to bribe and deceive the naive and stupid Phoenix 4 into letting them have access to MGR technology at a knockdown price when they had access to GM platforms and technology.

    They now seem to realise that a 21st Century Epsilon II platform is a far better starting point for a new car than something cobbled together by BMW and Rover in the mid 1990s and unceremoniously thrown what was left of Rover on the scrap heap.

    Anyway, as for the car itself, it doesn’t look bad – rather like the latest Opel/Vauxhall Insignia which is hardly surprising as it is essentially the same car.

  28. @Richard Moss
    Well, thank you for, at least, taking my point about factual accuracy.

    However, you should, perhaps, re-read the original article – if you do, you will see that SAIC Motor and MG Motor UK need to establish a viable business case for the import, still less complete or partial UK assembly, of any MY13 Roewe 750-based E-segment MG model. Welcome, then, to the commercial realities of the Automotive Industry in the 21st Century!

    My background as a now retired, former Public Sector Solicitor with over twenty-two years’ experience in various quasi-judicial roles does not afford me the luxury of prejudice but has taught me to ensure that all the relevant facts are to hand before making any judgments. My professional instinct therefore obliges me to reserve judgment on whether or not SAIC Motor’s plans for MG are likely to succeed.

    Anyway, neither of us can predict the future with any certainty so, as you suggest, perhaps we should simply agree to re-visit this debate in, say, three years’ time – assuming, of course, that we are both fortunate enough to be alive and kicking then!

  29. Reading all these comments certainly gives me plenty to ponder over and I find it encouraging to hear interesting views about MG cars (for and against!).

    We have to accept that future MG products will only have a distant relationship with their predecessors. However, that’s no different to us buying TVs bearing the former British Bush name even though they have no connection with the original and famous British manufacturer.

    I doubt that future MG cars will roll off Longbridge production lines in the quantities of the old BMC/BL/Rover Group days. I would like to buy another MG car but can’t guess when that will occur.

  30. @Wilko
    Noted – no offence taken. However, your comment that readers “could be forgiven for thinking that certain articles have come straight from SAIC Motor’s Marketing Department” does seem to be a tad ironic given Keith’s recent “MG still has the power to frustrate!” Blog!

    Mind you, in all honesty, some recent News articles have been mildly edited versions of MG Motor UK Limited’s Press Releases. All AROnline readers should therefore note that our News content generally falls into three categories:-

    1) Original, AROnline-generated articles – these have the individual writer’s byline between the headline and the text of the article.

    2) Imported articles from the likes of Autocar, Automotive News China/Europe or the Birmingham Post. The headlines to these articles are prefaced by the words China Watch, India Watch or Press Report and the source is identified with a link to the original article at the end of the text.

    3) Imported articles based on Press Releases issued by the likes of XPart and the OEMs which AROnline covers. These are normally only subjected to minor editing because of time constraints and the source is also identified at the end of the text but without any link to the original Press Release.

    AROnline does not operate on a commercial basis and the personal commitments of the Editorial Team and our other Contributors do sometimes have to take priority over the generation of original content.

  31. Oh dear – come back Allegro, all is forgiven.

    This is the car-making equivalent of Adric (the sidekick from Dr. Who who was hated so much that he was the only one offed on screen).

    I am speechless – this is Euroboxtastic – I didn’t know that the Sith Lords had gotten tired of universal domination and gone into car design…

    It’s like Country and Western music – I mean even the bits of cars which I like that have been borrowed have been emasculated and made to look dismal. I have to admit to liking the Insignia’s styling for heaven’s sake!

    The only thing to be said in this car’s favour is that we (please *insert deity here) won’t be seeing it on UK roads.

  32. @Clive Goldthorp
    Clive – I find your suggestion that my comments are “prejudiced” more than a little offensive and certainly incorrect. They are my OPINION and the fact that it does not agree with yours does not make it prejudiced.

    The comments were made on the basis of the information which you presented (which we are assured is “factually accurate”) and are MY assertion that this car is so far removed from any MGR connection that we should no longer think of it as an MGR legacy product and (as Wilko puts it) we should not be giving it our un-critical support through some mis-guided sense of loyalty.

    Your tone is rather patronising and you seem to be unwilling to accept that alternative points of view can exist – I would suggest that you should review your own impartiality. Factual accuracy is not in dispute (although my tongue-in-cheek comment appears to have failed to hit the funny bone) but I’m afraid I regard your impartiality as questionable.

  33. @Richard Moss
    The comments in the third paragraph of Post#34 were really intended to be an explanation of my decision to reserve judgment on SAIC Motor/MG’s likely prospects of success in the future – nothing more, nothing less.

    We are all entitled to our own opinions and the fact two people do not agree does not, of itself, make either’s opinion prejudiced. However, the Oxford Universal Dictionary defines the word “prejudice” as (inter alia) “A previous judgment; esp. a premature or hasty judgment” and, as you now accept that “factual accuracy is not in dispute,” logic surely suggests that some of the comments which you made prior to my Post#24 might, in retrospect, be interpreted by some readers as falling within that definition.

    You call my impartiality into question – well, if doing my best to inform the debate in this Comments Section by ensuring that AROnline’s readers have access to the relevant facts makes me partial, then so be it…

    However, I am genuinely sorry if you have found that the tone of some of my comments has been patronising as that was certainly not my intention – I always take great care to choose my words carefully and can only put your observation down to the fact that my writing style seems to be stuck in the 1970s!

    Incidentally, for the record, I agree that the next generation Roewe 750 seems likely to have little, if any, MG Rover “DNA” and concur with the opinion expressed in the second paragraph of your Post#38 above. Indeed, Keith seems to be of that view as well…

  34. I believe that MG has sold all of the TF LE500s which were built so calling the car a failure is stupid. The TF 85th Anniversary models were all sold as well and, while I don’t know about the TF 135, let’s be honest, the MG TF was never going to be a big seller as it is a 15 year old design with tech that dates back to the Metro.

    The Chinese can, at least, create new models and make an engine that does not blow its head gasket all the time. I like the new MGs – they look up to date and sporty and, most importantly, create jobs.

    Jaguar Land Rover are owned by Tata Motors so all their profits go to India, same with Vauxhall as all their profits go back to the USA. Did you know that SMTC UK will be developing future GM engines and that SAIC Motor has apparently bought a 1% stake in GM?

    Take a look at this:–cleaner-/. I guess that Vauxhall may use these new SAIC Motor/MG produced engines.

  35. This car looks quite promising – the side profile could do with more substantial looking alloys and the grille could do with a bit of refining, but just because it is based on a GM car doesn’t mean its not near to a Rover, after all, look at the badge and the name.

    Anyway, I hear that JLR are looking for a Chinese partner, so wouldn’t it be great if they tied up with SAIC Motor – SAIC Motor could then gain rights to the Rover name and we might see this badged as a Rover.

    The Epsilon II platform underpins the Vauxhall Insignia, which is a very good to drive (almost up to Mondeo standards), and it’s not as if Rover hasn’t dabbled with the Americans before – Rover V8 anyone?

  36. This GM tie up should do for the MG brand what VW did for the Skoda brand. Drag it into the next century! We really have to stop looking back at the past and crack on with the future.

    MG have Designers and Engineers in the UK who will develop the cars for the world market and certain panel shapes, grilles and interiors, not to mention badges, will suit different regions. They are on a steady ramp up to bring the MG brand back to Europe.

    I’m not really sure that they needed to bring the TF back at all. I think they realised their mistake on that one. However, in the next 2/3 years a full range of vehicles and engines will be available. It is only then, probably this time in 2013, that we will really be able to judge if SAIC Motor/MG have been successful. The MG6 is a test process to show to the buying public that MG-badged saloons will be returning to the roads.

    Mind you, my controversial personal opinion, is that they should not bring the MG saloons back at all. They should simply create an MG sports brand in the way that BMW did with MINI and make two vehicles – a new rear wheel drive TF including a coupe version and a small FWD sports hatch – make sure they are global cars and market the hell out of the brand. MG is known globally for its small sports vehicles and that is where the marque should play its role.

    However, if SAIC Motor could get together with JLR and roll out some Rovers based on GM platforms, then that may work. Anything’s possible these days!

  37. @Steven211
    I can’t see why GM (with its vast empire of Designers and Engineers around the world) would be relying on a small team based in Birmingham, with little in the way of a track record? In Germany alone, GM have a vast R&D centre at Opel…

    Let’s face it, this car has little British input and will never be sold in the UK, so I can’t get excited by the prospect of it being MG-badged. Ask yourself this question: what if Hyundai bought the Morris badge and renamed the i30 the Morris Minor – would that then be the saviour of the British car industry and a continuation of the Morris Minor legacy? No.

  38. @Steven211
    The K-Series’ head gasket blew through lack of maintenance and care by owners and was not a standard ‘feature’ of the engine. Very few gaskets blew through faulty manufacture.

    I read a lot of the MG Rover forums and often read of owners saying their engine’s head gasket blew not long after the low coolant light came on or after some ‘hard acceleration’ or ‘aggressive driving on country roads’ – well, it is no wonder it failed!

    This misconception did not help Rover or MG (or the Freelander which also used the 1.8 unit) – even today, folk are still hesitating about buying the 1.8 litre MGs secondhand if the head gasket hasn’t been replaced and some people are changing them ‘just in case’ which can create rather than solve problems.

    I know that this rant was slightly off topic, but I have had a good relationship with the K-Series so far and felt I had to defend it!!

    The rest of your post is spot on – I think we sometimes forget that Vauxhall/GM has technically been a ‘foreign’ car builder in the UK since 1920s. The danger the company was in as a result of GM’s recent financial difficulties is still fresh in the memory and we could have seen a long-established British brand disappear due to the problems of the parent company (sound familiar??).

  39. I reckon that this car might look OK with the honeycomb grille from the MG6. I like the Maestro/Montego-ish scallops on the side and the rear styling looks good too. Make it happen. Alex.

  40. The more I look at the above rendering, the more I like the car – it is far better than the MG6 and is different enough from the new Jaguars to be distinctive. Work on the grille, presumably tweek the suspension, fit a good alloy V6 and an MG based on this next generation Roewe 750 should sell well. Alex.

  41. @Paul T
    Yes, I know – I have a 25 which has suffered from the problem. Luckily, I am training to be a Mechanic and have worked in a Rover specialist garage so I was OK with mine.

    I like the K-Series engine but it had problems like the damp cylinder liners – according to my teacher, who worked on the K-Series at Powertrain, it was supposed to have dry cylinder liners like normal engines but they had to cut costs and that caused the problems.

  42. This is an Insignia with a different grille, so it’s not going to reach UK shores… The message, then, is clear:


    My Rover 75 needs a HGF sorting out – do I sell the Connoisseur options on eBay or do I pay for the repairs? Well, I’ve been burned too many times by K-Series engines (two 216 Cabrios) but, as I bought the car with warranty, this one’s safe for the time being…

    The engine was introduced in 1989 and yet HGF was still a problem in 2002. Anyhow, the car’s going to the garage not the scrappy… Merry Christmas everybody – mine’s going to be as the Rover will be back on my drive by then. Didier.

    P.S.: Anyone else noticed that the letters HGF appear in reverse on keyboards – did someone have a premonition and postion the keys like that out of compassion for Rover owners?

  43. Another reason for keeping the 75 is that Mother-in-Law calls the car the “Limo” because she can get in and out of it more easily than my 944 so needs must! No, in all seriousness, I love my 75, period.

  44. I agree that the front of the new Roewe 750 shown in the rendering above looks a bit bland but the back is very elegant. Don’t forget this isn’t how the car will look if and when it comes to the UK as this is a Roewe but check out this week’s Auto Express for a take on how an MG derivative might look.

    I see that MG Motor UK’s Guy Jones has said that a car in this class won’t sell in Europe. However, the Rover 75 and MG ZT were quite popular cars in their day so I think it could work – a luxury MG would also have a halo effect on the rest of the range. We can’t have the top MG being the MG6…

  45. Climbsyke :
    I’ve just laughed my way through the comments about MGR being dead blah blah blah. Yes, let’s go back to the heady days of Rover breathing over Honda designs shall we!?!?!?!?! Just remember that, from what I can gather, the only clean sheet design to come out of Longbridge in over twenty years was the 75!!
    This is just a rendering of a possible 750 replacement on the Insignia platform! How is the Honda-derived MG ZS any more relevant than an Opel-derived 75? Funny how we fondly remember the 600 (Accord) 45/ZS (Domani) 25/ZR (Concerto with Maestro rear end) but platform sharing is somehow wrong when the Chinese are involved… This time, at least, Brits are designing the entire look of the car rather than having to work skillfully around carry over doors etc.

    Well said, Climbsyke! You’re right – back in the 1980s there were people claiming that the Acclaim was not a real Triumph, or that the others were not real Rovers and yet, after all these years, no one really seems to mind.

    I quite like to see these post-MGR news items. Brands have been acquired by different groups for nearly as long as the motor industry has been around. Are current Vauxhalls “true” British Vauxhalls? Well, they really haven’t been since GM bought the company in 1925. From the 1930s, Bedfords went on to Chevrolet platforms, yet history does not seem to judge them as harshly as some of us are doing above. They are not the ‘American Bedfords’ or the ‘faux Bedfords’.

    Anyway, as the world changes, it is only natural that some of these brands will be acquired by countries that do not share the same heritage as Great Britain. Interestingly, as far as I can see, Tata seems to escape the same level of hostility because India was once part of the mighty Empire. However, if India becomes more confident and in, say, 2025 when all Jaguar platforms are exclusively engineered there with the help of a non-British car maker (platform-sharing is just as inevitable in the luxury sector), will they be met with the same criticism?

    This is the real world: globalized, with car manufacturers turning to low-cost options where possible. We are connected with the Internet and intranets. SAIC is simply leading when it comes to taking an American-owned platform engineered in Germany and putting the ‘Made in China’ stamp on it. Occidental manufacturers have been doing it for years: as Climbsyke points out, Rover did it with Honda platforms…

    Yet we continue to be drawn to these models not because of their Japanese roots, but because they have some connection to the brand, which stirs our emotions. Some of them had the lion’s share of work done in Japan, not Britain, yet that, too, is conveniently overlooked. No one ever mentions the war (which I will now, and China was one of the Allies).

    Admittedly, some Red Chinese manufacturers are turning out junk that would not get past injunctions waged around intellectual property issues but SAIC does, at least, have some awareness of the history of MG and is willing to acknowledge it. With Roewe, never mind the pastiche-British marketing that it indulges in for the domestic market where these cars are mainly sold; I’m confident that the Shangaiese are more savvy than many of us are giving them credit. An MG is an MG, regardless of the ethnicity of the parent and regardless of the shouts of the Yellow Peril, as long as its brand values are somehow incorporated in the design and engineering.

  46. @Paul T
    Unfortunately, in the real world, cars and their engines have to be designed to resist abuse. Most owners have no idea what goes on under the bonnet and couldn’t care less as long as it goes. My wife claimed the nasty noises coming out of our Astra while she had a driving lesson “weren’t important” – 3 days later, it put a rod through the block, and cost me £1300! See also my earlier post about Maestro Series HT leads spark-eroding their way through servo shells and stuffing both brakes and engine management – owners often didn’t notice…

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