SAIC Design’s renderings of the MG6 Concept have now filtered onto the web and hint at an exciting future line-up of sporting hatchbacks based upon the critically acclaimed Roewe 550. The new hatchback is already deep into a stringent global development programme, with the latest sightings in Germany. The 1.8-litre turbocharged hot hatch will initially be built in China but production in Longbridge still hangs in the balance due to the global economic downturn.
The new-age MG ZS is set to make its world debut at next week’s Auto Shanghai – at least in concept form – but it’s clear that the focus will be on aggressive styling and sporting dynamics. The MG6 is the first in a series of three saloon/hatchback models intended to re-establish the MG marque globally, with the TF (which is built in Longbridge and China) doing its best in the sports car market pending the development of a successor.
Despite bullish predictions for UK production last year, the chances of the MG6 being built here are looking increasingly unlikely – the economic case for that has become harder to justify and SAIC Motor has reportedly expressed an interest in acquiring a stake in General Motors Europe. Longbridge’s chances have also not been help by the failure of the TF LE500 to find buyers (it was pre-sold to dealers who have been unable to pass their cars onto new customers, despite heavy discounts).
The Roewe 550’s emergence onto the European market looks certain to be sooner rather than later, given the recent sighting in Germany. The car pictured is wearing standard German number plates and so will have passed the local equivalent of the SVA – and that means it’s more or less compliant with all German (and therefore EU) regulations. The MG6’s passage into Europe will be eased by the 550’s EU homologation…
However, perhaps the most important point revealed by the images of the MG6 and Roewe N1 is that, at least in China, MG=hatchback and Roewe=saloon.