News : MG launches HS plug-in hybrid down under

MG Motor has announced the plug-in hybrid version of the HS for the Australian and New Zealand markets, in a live-streamed launch on 2 March.

The HS plug-in hybrid is the second electrified MG on sale in the region, after the all-electric ZS crossover, the price leader in the segment. The HS range effectively succeeded the GS, which sold in limited numbers in New Zealand. The platform, perhaps predictably, features MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link suspension at the rear.

Giles Belcher, Sales Director for MG Motor Australia and New Zealand, hosted the event from Sydney, joined by CEO for the region Peter Ciao. David Hearty, the Project General Manager for the HS for Australia and New Zealand, and Danny Lenartic, General Manager for EVs for Australia and New Zealand, also took the podium to introduce the new vehicle.

Ciao said that he could not copy the European approach and import it to Australasia, with the different population densities, tastes and needs.

‘With the PHEV, we knew 90 per cent of the time we are just driving in the city. The electric vehicle engine is perfect for this. You can enjoy perfect driving and performance and low running costs. Then, when you want to explore and venture in this beautiful country, the petrol engine provides an additional range so you never have to worry about a charge station. It really is the best of both worlds,’ he said.

He stressed that the aim of MG was to provide the best value for its customers, including making electrified vehicles mainstream.

Hearty said the HS would be the flagship crossover for the range in the region, which probably means that large Roewe models would not don MG badges in this part of the world.

Showing confidence and how far MG has come since it returned to the New Zealand market with the 6, the HS plug-in hybrid retails in New Zealand for NZ$52,990 (plus on-road costs), in a single Essence AWD trim, backed by an eight-year, 160,000km battery warranty, and a five-year unlimited-kilometre vehicle warranty.

The HS plug-in hybrid is particularly well equipped in this market, with a panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera, a 12·3-inch digital instrument display complemented by a 10·1-inch HD centre touchscreen, and heated and electrically adjustable leather seats. The MG Pilot driver safety system is standard.

Externally, the HS has 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, and daytime running lights. The hero colour, called Clipper Blue, is exclusive to the PHEV.

Claimed range for just the 16·6 kWh lithium-ion electric motor is 52 km (WLTP combined cycle), and an EV-only mode is available. Top speed is 190 km/h, and 100 km/h is reached in 6·9 s. Total output is 284 PS (209 kW) with peak torque at 480 Nm, with fuel consumption at 1·7 l/100 km (combined cycle)—a whopping 166 mpg (Imperial)—and carbon dioxide emissions of just 39 g/km. The powertrain means that emissions are reduced from 50 to 70 per cent. The estimated 7·2 kW charging time is five hours.

As with Chinese convention, the electrified models were referred to at the press conference as ‘new energy vehicles’. Lenartic says SAIC is ‘focusing on accelerating innovative development … areas of electrification, intelligent connectivity, software-defined motoring, knowledge sharing, and continued globalization of its brands.’

Lenartic added that SAIC sold 320,000 new-energy vehicles globally in 2020, a year-on-year increase of 73·4%, the second-fastest growth rate in the world. Twenty-five thousand of those were exported to Europe. He also pointed out that SAIC had its own battery production, part of its own supply chain.

Lenartic refused to say whether plug-in hybrid versions of the Toyota RAV4 and Mitsubishi Outlander were in MG’s sights, saying that was something the market would decide. ‘This is only the beginning of the electric dream,’ said Lenartic. ‘Certainly, it’s a sign of bigger things to come.’

The cars arrive in Australian dealerships in March and in New Zealand dealerships in April.

Originally published in Lucire.

18 Comments

  1. MG seem to be pushing hard in Australia, I noticed that one the Big Bash T20 cricket franchises is sponsored by MG

  2. According to caradvice.com.au MG sold 3017 vehicles in Australia in February making them the 8th largest brand, ahead of VW, while LDV (Maxus) were up 79% with their T60 ute – people might criticise SAIC MG but they are shifting metal….

    • Australia is very much within the “economic influence” of Asian companies and indeed China, so it perhaps isn’t too much of a surprise that SAIC MG are doing better there

  3. Back in the dark days of 2005 and the commercial failure of the MG6 who would have thought that MG would emerge 15 years later as a leader in affordable EVs? General market reaction looks pretty good so far.
    Will be interesting to see where they are in 2030.

    • My thoughts precisely. Why is it on the site? I was under the impression these Chinese imports were no longer eligible for coverage here. Or has that policy been reversed?

      • I normally call Keith out for puff pieces, as you see it, particularly glowing reports of expensive, unreliable JLR products. But just now I think he has the balance right, plenty of nostalgic stuff and a bit of new stuff to.

        This one is properly referenced as a “reprint”, and I’m not too hung up on the old MG/ New MG thing.

        I think Keith did have a bit of a hissy fit over MG UK a while ago, and I’m glad that it seems to be over, and he has moved on.

        Anyone not liking the freely provided content here is equally free to go elsewhere.

        • Precisely, Joe, and thank you.

          A bit of background to others: I’m not going to criticize a product that I have not yet tested, since that would be poor journalism. I attended a launch (virtually) that MG invited me to, and here is an honest report of that launch. It is significant as MG has not done any reaching out to lifestyle publications here for my entire time in the media. We had to make considerable effort to the previous concessionaire to get press cars and their promotional efforts were, if I were being kind, under-resourced.

          When I get the HS PHEV in my hands (which has been promised), I’ll give it a fair review and write it up. It doesn’t have to appear here (my 6, 3 and GS stories didn’t), and you’re so right: I gave this piece to AROnline willingly and I could have as easily not bothered. If people don’t like it, they are free to go to other sites covering the BMC–MG saga.

          In terms of relevance, the above might be more relevant than the stories about the Oltcit and Peugeot 104, which also appear on this website. More car manufacturing is taking place out east, and more brands are owned by companies there, so it’s inevitable that cars from the east find their way on to this site. One would have thought people would be used to this since imports, particularly Datsun, reached 40 per cent of the UK market in the mid-1970s—such developments have been taking place for over four decades!

          • Thanks Jack, I’m sure both Keith and many others will be interested to hear your reports/reviews, so please stay in touch.

            I could not agree more, times have moved on, we like our old cars, and the stories Keith provides, but the new, and Chinese stuff is interesting too.

          • Not more puff, please. Datsun did not reach 40% of the UK market at any time. And mere regurgitation of advertising launch material is not journalism.

          • I thought these cars were no longer covered on the site since the end of SAIC’s desultory “production” sham at Longbridge.

          • Christopher, he said that imports reached 40%, not Datsun, the punctuation is important.

            Standhill, people, and time, move on.

            If you don’t like it, don’t read it. I know it’s fashionable to demand that anything that one does not agree with is “cancelled”, but still..

  4. Just imagine, If MG Rover had survived in 2005 and succeeded, this is the sort of vehicle they might have been building in old Longbridge now or soonish. Having said, that I am not that keen on Crossover / SUV’s . In profile This one looks like a Qashqai to me.

    • @ Hilton D, from the side, it does look very much like a Qashqai and that’s no bad thing, as it shows how much MG have evolved from the 6. I do notice a few MG SUVs and crossovers on the roads of Cumbria and a dealer in Penrith who seems to be doing well.
      However, Cleator Moor remains the home of the only MG6 I’ve seen round here. A black one on a 15 plate seems to live in a car park I use( possibly it belongs to someone in the houses opposite). i’d love to know who the owner is and what he thinks of the car.

  5. @ Glenn, yes, I find most of the current SUV’s & Crossovers look almost identical. Not my cup of tea but my age probably explains that… A Cavalier MK1 Coupe or Sportshatch does it for me!

    Now we have an MG dealer in town, there are more ZS’s around. My Sister in Law has one. Locally I still see one MG6 on the roads but they are rare. A shame the car was not successful and not built in UK. Still not a bad looking car.

    • @ Hilton D, sad to say, unless car fashions change, coupes based on family cars seem to be a thing of the past. Indeed the traditional four door family saloon( not hatchback) probably went out of fashion at the end of the last century. Odd when I think back, that 30 years ago, most manufacturers offered four door Cavalier sized saloons that were still selling in decent numbers.

      • Good comments Glenn. Yes, 30 years ago there were Sierra Sapphires, Montego’s, Bluebirds and Primera’s etc. all available as traditional 4 door saloons. Happier motoring days as far as I’m concerned.

        The high sided fat SUV’s & crossover’s with black alloys just don’t appeal to me. Like I said, it must be an age thing!

  6. Just on appearance I thought MG6s looked ok, although I never got closer than looking from the outside, and haven’t seen one for several years. However, I see a few MG3s around – although they all seem to be a few years old.

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