News : MG CS and MG5 caught testing in China

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

MG CS 2014 (3)

For readers in the UK, 2013 and 2014 will be all about the MG3. However, in China, where the product plan is usually running a couple of years ahead, the company is already gearing up for its long-awaited small SUV – previewed in the CS concept in 2013 – and the unexpected MG5 saloon.

The production version of the MG CS is mooted for an early reveal alongside the fastback saloon version of the frumpy MG5 hatchback, which slots in below the MG6. Any crossover between these two cars won’t last too long, as the 6’s replacement, due in 2016, will powered by the 2.0-litre turbocharged NLE engine.

The SUV, which certainly looks exciting in the leaked images below, will be one of several off-roaders produced by SAIC, including the SsangYong-based Roewe W5 and upcoming MG-badged Korando reskin.

MG SUV (1) MG SUV (2)

According to China Car Times, both cars will be powered by SAIC’s 1.5-litre engine in turbocharged form developing 129bhp, but with the NLE eventually finding its way under the bonnet with up to 220bhp. Both cars are expected to be unveiled at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show, which takes place between 20-24 April. Sales are expected to follow – in China – in the summer, with UK models some time behind that.

However, as we recently saw, MG Motor UK is busy working on establishing itself in the UK market with the MG3 and won’t commit to these new models until they are thoroughly ready and likely to find buyers. The new cars appear to be stylish – in the renderings and concept form – and the fastback shape of the MG5 saloon is very interesting.

MG 5 saloon (2)

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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14 Comments

  1. Yes, the SUV does look rather good. Love its ‘face’.

    Remember first seeing undisguised photos of the 5. All ok apart from a slightly odd rump. A fastback saloon version sounds as though it could be attractive all round. Also, a preferred option for once Rover drivers here in the UK I would think.

    Overall, it’s encouraging to see things really happening.

  2. I think I have seen that styling by Mitsubishi and that car I could buy since two years!
    I am sure, that that car will arrive in Europe when the time for SUV´s is over!

  3. @3 Got it in one. The ideas exist. The team in Longbridge has the talent. The world is waiting. But it won’t wait forever.

    The MG5 is probably irrelevant for us but the CS is not. It looks good and if it lines up well alongside the new generation Nissan Cashcow (rated one of the best new cars in its class by many) then it could do well and bring in the bacon.

    But it is a shame to build these MG sales without the benefit of an image-leader in the form of a new sports car. Otherwise MG is still living on past glories while the marketeers have their work cut out to ‘build’ a ‘new’ brand.

    You could ask what the value of the MG name is without this. In China, MG may be a novelty name trading on its British roots, but the risk is that this is building on a lie – a bit like those bogus ‘British towns’ inside China.

    As the Chinese customer, increasingly well educated and well travelled, becomes more mature in outlook, surely genuine credibility will become even more important.

    Could an MG sports car (maybe a coupe for China?) built in the UK and imported into China and Japan (once a fairly good market for MGs) help build this credibility and boost sales of locally built MG SUVs and hatches?

  4. Sorry, but that front-on shot of the MG CS (third one down) does look rather comical, rather like a giggling hamster, with the lower grille intake in the bumper resembling its teeth. Put a number plate on and it will resemble a moustache.

  5. Why does everyone seem to want a ‘2 seater sportscar’?

    Im happy watching the brand grow by building affordable sporting hatches and saloons – as they have done for many years.

    Sports cars wont sell enough in volume to warrant financing by SAIC and will not sell the MG brand name to a new generation of customers (cos, in case you didnt know, not many people have a 2 seater sportscar sitting on the drive).

  6. Craig @7

    Yes, so many say “come on,get a 2 seater roadster launched!”. This would have a good halo effect but not really mean that much to younger buyers who would say “What’s an MGB?”. Also, as you rightly point out Craig, MG of old were not just roadsters but sporting saloons too.
    So, given the far bigger volumes involved, is the new MG so far off course with its current offerings?

  7. “However, as we recently saw, MG Motor UK is busy working on establishing itself in the UK market with the MG3”.
    Are you serious?

  8. Hi Keith

    great stuff and as an ex The Austin Motor Company man from dear old Longbridge I really love this real progress after the devastation caused a few years ago by a small group of egoists to put it politely!

    One thing though that stood out visiting Longbridge last year was that these new MGs have a certain styling something missing! A real chrome MG grill on the front like either the MBG or MG Magnette suitably styled into these present front ends would work wonders!

    Without this we will not achieve the very necessary ” Must have” effect in the Brompton Road or Sloan Square etc!

    Over to you MG Engineering Department in Longbridge!

  9. @7 because a sports car is one of the bits of USP that MG has in bucket loads. Without that the credibility is hollow. Marketing it as a ‘sporty’ but also ‘cheap’ car is not an easy task, when Joe Public will look at the sticker price and decide whether to go Dacia, Skoda, Kia or MG.

    Whatever people think about the cars themselves, the people who buy MINIs are less interested in the sticker price than what it is they are buying into; in most cases they really want a MINI. You can argue until the cows come home about whether they are right to do so – but the fact is, they do!

    MG customers ought to be made of similar stuff.

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