Words: Clive Goldthorp Photographs: Ash Sutcliffe/China Car Times
SAIC Motor, MG’s parent company, has given the brand’s second all-new model, the B-segment MG3, what was a reportedly low-key debut at Auto Guangzhou 2010.
The MG3 has been styled by the MG Global Design Team led by Tony Williams-Kenny at MG Birmingham and, as anticipated, bears a close resemblance to their recent MG ZERO Concept. The new model’s dimensions are pretty close to those of the Ford Fiesta at L: 3999mm W: 1728mm H: 1517mm but SAIC Motor/MG have chosen not to release any further details of the MG3’s Technical Specifications until the car hits the showrooms in China next March.
However, the word from the Chinese rumour mill suggests that the MG3 will be launched initially with an SMTC UK-developed 1.5litre NSE petrol engine producing 109bhp at 6000rpm and 91lb ft at 4500rpm – figures which would certainly make the MG3 competitive with 1.4-litre Duratec-engined Ford Fiestas.
AROnline anticipates that the MG3 will also be available with two other variants of the NSE engine: a 1.3litre petrol unit producing 67bhp and a 1.5-litre turbocharged unit with 156bhp. SAIC Motor/SMTC UK are known to be developing a 1.9-litre diesel engine for use in the MG6 but have yet to indicate whether a diesel MG3 would be fitted with a smaller version of that engine or one supplied by another OEM.
The MG3 has already been shown today at the Auto Guangzhou show in China, so the platform is already in production. However, there is a lot of unique engineering for the European markets. All I can say is we are all working as hard as possible to get this car to market with the right quality and price as soon as possible after MG6.” Guy Jones, Sales and Marketing Director, MG Motor UK Limited
The MG3 will be targeted at buyers between the ages of 18 and 28 and the Options List will almost certainly enable those customers to personalise their MG3s in the same way as purchasers of Citroen DS3s, Fiat 500s and MINIs can do. The photographs which accompany this article give a clear indication of some of the options which are likely to be available.
Guy Jones, MG Motor UK Limited’s Sales and Marketing Director, held the company’s first ‘Live and Online’ session on Facebook this afternoon and, in answer to a question about when the MG3 would come to the UK, replied: “Basically as soon as possible, given the market response! In reality we have to launch the two new MG6 models into production for Europe first and follow this with the production version of the MG ZERO. The MG3 has already been shown today at the Auto Guangzhou show in China, so the platform is already in production. However, there is a lot of unique engineering for the European markets. All I can say is we are all working as hard as possible to get this car to market with the right quality and price as soon as possible after MG6.”
Ash Sutcliffe of China Car Times – AROnline’s man in China – had a close look at the MG3 in Guangzhou today and reckons that the MG’s build quality will have to be raised considerably before production commences in order to match that of, say, the Ford Fiesta or the Honda Jazz. Mind you, Guy Jones’ remark about the need “to get this car (the MG3) to market with the right quality and price” suggests that he and his colleagues at MG Birmingham are already addressing that issue…
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