News : MG5 unveiled on CCT

Keith Adams

China Car Times has published the first clear images of the MG5, after months of rendered speculation across the Internet. The car will be officially launched on Monday morning at the Guangzhou Auto Show.

MG5 will be officially unveiled on 18 November
MG5 will be officially unveiled on 18 November

Ash Sutcliffe writes now if you’ve bought a compact car from a major auto maker in the past year now is the time for some major regret, the MG5 is one of the best looking compacts to come out this year and is well worth the wait. If you’ve got a five-year old car that you’re waiting to chop in for something with a little more character, then there is the MG5 to buy. The bad news is – if you’re in Europe you might have to wait 12 months or more to buy this car, if you’re in a North African nation or South Africa perhaps a lot faster and the same goes for certain South American countries, and if you’re in the US of A you’re out of luck for now.

The MG5 so far looks like the car that the Focus, Excelle, and Cruze hatchbacks were all aiming to be, sporty from the front, sides and especially rear but not under the hood just yet. The range topping turbo is not expected to make a debut at the GZ auto show and will likely come in early 2012 alongside a 1.8-litre offering. In the meanwhile, the MG5 will make do with a 1.5-litre engine mated to a 5speed manual and a four-speed automatic gearbox – not the dual clutch tech we heard about before.

MG5 will be officially unveiled on 18 November
MG5 will be officially unveiled on 18 November

[Source: China Car Times]

Keith Adams


  1. Get a move on – We need this car ASAP. How long does it actually take to make the necessary changes to satisfy the European market? Though don’t even consider launching this unless you have a diesel but that must be nearly finished now surely?

  2. Yawn!!!!!

    Sorry, I don’t want to do-down the previously wonderful company that was MG (the sports car one from the 20th Century, remember?). But this vehicle, with its facsimile of their badge, is just bland and uninspiring in the same way as a 2002 Daewoo Lanos and will probably be worth as much 12 months after purchase.

    I really want to see British engineers manufacturing products in this country, but please SAIC tell me why I should buy this over any of the more popular (and more inspiring) competitors cars from Europe, Japan or Korea?

    It has as much cutting edge design, style and panache as a warm dishcloth and looks like a cat chewing a wasp. Yet again it looks like it will only be available to start off, with all the wrong engine and drive-train options.

    Cecil Kimber must be turning in his grave at the thought of the once famous MG badge adorning this car…….

  3. Really like it – especially in Black. I think it looks a bit more exciting than the eurobland boxes that we are subjected to now.

    Hope it does well.

  4. Not a bad looker overall, the rear end reminds me of a Mitsubishi product. Hope we see it in the UK but if it sells as well (or poorly as the MG6?), it will be a rare sight.

  5. I hope it succeeds, but the problem I forsee is that, badge apart, it could be a car from Hyundai etc. They’re going to have to get the pricing, spec and advertising right to succeed, that’s for sure.

    Looks-wise, I prefer the MG3, but that could just be down to the effect that the bright blue colour has on the shape.

  6. Does the tailgate remind you of the 75 tourer? Its nice, but looks a little top heavy – I think thats the camera angle. Not bad, we will have a better idea Monday I guess.

  7. I agree with Cookie1600

    It’s an instantly forgettable car and, like the dull and forgettable MG6, will be a sales failure, especially if the marketing will be the same formula as the MG6.

    The front reminds me of a Peugeot, the rear of a Volvo for some reason…

    I think people need to remember that these are not MG cars. The Chinese bought the MG badge to get a foot in the door of the UK/EU market to sell their cheap tat. Most people are wise to this and as others have said, it may as well be badged a Proton or Daewoo because that’s the image/prestige that these cars carry.

  8. “Name me a distinctive C segment car? They all look pretty derivative and dull”

    Exactly why the thought of any new dull compact car being an MG is just so wrong! MG = cars with a sporting edge for me.

    I’d be looking at an Astra, Honda Civic (1.4 S currently just under £13k) Citroen DS3, Kia Rio, Seat Ibiza (1.4 Sportrider) VW Golf etc etc.

    None of them set my pants alight, but they are all known quantities with test reviews and owner experiences that you can call upon to help make your choice.

    Just stick an Roewe badge (or any other made up name!!) on it and I’d be happy that they aren’t trying to use the history of a totally unrelated car manufacturer to flog a box.

  9. MG is not totally unrelated to MG Motor. NAC bought the remains (including the MG name) of MGR after it went bust in 2005. When SAIC took over NAC they acquired the MG name. Like it or not, they are the legal owners of MG and they can do what the hell they like with it. Let’s hope they make a better job of things than previous owners and managers.

  10. Why do they always release the first look pictures showing a car in black. It hides all the detailing so the grille etc just disappears.

    Not that the last two were bad looking, but this is the best looking yet.

  11. Had a second look at this MG5 and it has some similarities with the next model Hyundai i30 which I find appealing. Thing is, the new i30 will be in the UK first and with a diesel – I think.

  12. So whats that then a kia. Its not quite the hot hatch that it should be to live up to the MG brand oh dear more unfortunate dealers being set up to loose money maybe they would be better pitched at your local friendly car supermarket maybe the pressure sell tactics of those guys may sell one or on a really un-competative finance package.

  13. Looks absolutely horrible and not modern!
    The engine is what we know from the 1990´s and the gearbox? Which modern car has a fife speed box?
    Six speed boxes will be common today if you have a manual gearbox and if you buy an automatic you will get six, seven or eight gears!
    I had an Austin in the late 1960´s and that car had a four speed box.
    MG is here in the 1970´s but not in our time.
    Please leaf that cars in China or in Africa. There the people buy old cars from Europe of the last century and probably that MG will be compareable to that old stuff!
    I do not want to know if that car has airbags, anti loking brakes or ESP.
    Probably not.
    The old 75 got six airbags as standard in most of the countries a decade ago!
    The new MG6 will get two like the old Rover 800 in the early 1990´s.
    These cars were not for our time!
    Every cheap Korean or east European car will do that better for less money with better style!

  14. i think it looks ok,some cars grow on you some dont,the i30 doesnt look great and the interior is very 90’s toyota-we have about 500 on fleet for retail hires etc,low co2 etc why is the 1.5 engine wrong?you have 1.4,1.6,1.8 and 2litre cars in its class oh,yes the diesel saviour of the world.if it had a diesel how many of you on here dogging the car before/if launched here would buy it?

  15. @Andrew Elphick – November 18, 2011
    “Does the tailgate remind you of the 75 tourer?” Funny you should say that, I thought that the tailgate looked more like an estate car tailgate than a hatch.

  16. oh no someones melted an alfa in the first picture and done the same to an Imprezza in the second photo.,.Alex

  17. Seems to look like a car that could succeed.

    Pity they don’t have a marketing department who could convince anyone to buy it

  18. Hmm!? It’s ok. I’m quite keen on the frontal styling, broadly similar to the other SAIC MG’s. In profile it seems more of the same, very similar to current rivals. The rear is quite distintive, but not too sure if I like it that much.

    Need to see more pictures, different colours before I can form a definite opinion on the car’s appearance.

    Even now, under Chinese ownership, it seems odd that greater importance is not being placed on the UK market (and Europe).

  19. It is interesting though, that MG arent actively selling the MG 6’s in the other RHD markets.

    presumably they could also sell them in New Zealand, Australia, Japan. these countries seem to have more resilient economies than the UK and may actually be quite successful markets for them. alex

  20. Oh dear, oh dear! That is quite staggeringly nasty! I would suggest that the likes of Kia and Hyundai will be laughing at this stage, but that does assume that it’s even registered on their radar! Will it be on Motorpoint’s website at 35% off list price in 6 months as well?

  21. Steve Bailey, comment 21

    Yes, that’s what is ultimately distinctive about the rear end. The low loading sill of the tailgate is more akin to an estate.

  22. To quote the original article:

    “The MG5 so far looks like the car that the Focus, Excelle, and Cruze hatchbacks were all aiming to be, sporty from the front, sides and especially rear”

    What is this person smoking?! From the back it looks positively home made, from ill fitting fibre glass panels!

    I am genuinely saddened to see the marque being put through such a humiliating end 🙁

  23. On a more general note. Are the front and rear aprons on cars going to keep on getting bigger, stretching further up the bodywork? Minor knock no longer equals minor damage. Here, on the MG5, does the rear apron really need to reach as far as the rear lights?

  24. Looks like a Vectra Estate (a bad copy of one at least) from the rear, and asio-bland from the front, and the dull black (what is the modern obsession with buying black (the dullest and least flattering colour of them all) cars???) doesn’t help show its shape off very well either…

  25. …come on you fuddy-duddy and moaners. For once this is a good looking car.

    MG – get it here quick, with the right engines and overall quality, low price and a decent marketing campaign

  26. That’s the style of front end the 3 needs…..

    It’s getting closer to what is needed, but as others say IT IS NEEDED NOW!

  27. Sorry, it’s bland, derivative. Give me a new Astra any day, or even a Kia C’eed. They will have to market it really well to sell it here.

    From the rear, it looks just a little like it might fit a washing machine standing upright.

  28. It’s not bad. OK, not as distinctive or special as we may like. Certainly not MG. However, as a competitor to rival offerings from Ford, Vauxhall, Kia, Toyota etc, etc it could sell in reasonable numbers. However, reasonable sales will only come if buyers are made aware of its existence and see sales campaigns to make them want one. Currently, in the case of the 6, why are we not seeing this along with a more widespread, prominent dealer network. If the sales and distribution effort is not made immediately the car will become dated before it has a chance to sell well.

    There needs to be more emphasis on establishing MG in the UK to create image, identity. This is MG’s roots!!

    The new MGs may not be the most fantastic cars in the world but for heavens sake with the right sales infrastructure and campaign they are perfectly capable of achieving mass market as opposed to nominal European sales.

    The situation is bizzare. When new brands such as Proton launched you could soon see them on the road. Why then is it that six months after the re-launch of MG I still haven’t seen a 6 outside the showroom – bizzare indeed!

    The MG5 does not seem as right or distinctive as the 3 or 6.
    However, some minor tweaks could soon sort this. Just remember the ZS’s roots!!!! In fact, the whole range could do with taking some styling cues, some image from the early Zs.

  29. Oh dear.. lets home its the camera angle that is bad. That is sooooo boring it won’t sell. Looks like SAIC-MG have rewarmed (badly) the Rover TCV

  30. Mark:

    “…come on you fuddy-duddy and moaners. For once this is a good looking car.”

    I’m not sure what you’re smoking, but may I have some too?!

    As you say that this is a good looking car, can you explain the benefit of the tail lights drooping to either side? It seems to look like it’s either been very badly repaired following a serious accident, or that it might be melting…

  31. ….. Well, It’s better than the 6.

    If MG push this and the 3 (and, as already said all over the site.. actually PUSH them, rather than let them dribble out)… then Maaaaaaaaaaybe they’ll be ok ini the UK.

    It’s not an ugly car, but I couldn’t call it pretty either. It IS sporty looking, but only in that Impreza kinda way… Forced sportiness you could probably call it.

    It does have to be said though… Looks a lot like a poor mans Civic to me.

  32. May I be the first to prostrate my self in awe struck amazement at the feet of those which such keen vision that they are able to discern so much detail from a low resolution flatly lit image, to the point they simply dismiss what it looks like out of hand.

  33. Sixtyten your right sir.

    Let’s wait till MG UK gets there iPhone’s out for the proper Facebook ad campaign……

  34. There is nothing wrong with this car it will stand up to any of it’s competitors, all this negative rubbish about the styling get a life ! This car with the right amount of marketing and aggressive dealers will sell. The fact that MG is owned by the China is not a negative any more every household consumer brand has now got some vested interest in China.The old MG company and it’s products are long gone we can be nostalgic there’s not a problem with that but it is 2011 coming on to 2012 and the World has changed and will keep on changing and so will cars,

  35. I think it looks very good from the front/side profile, the way the wings flow into the headlights is a very nice touch. The rear I think suffers from an unfortunate picture angle but actually looks like this could be quite a sporty looking car. I’m impressed and it’t much more mainstream than the 6 so this could and should sell (marketed properly of course) As usual there are the naysayers quick to kill it in it’s tracks and to those people I say – if you want to perpetually live in the past with some rose tinted view of the Z series that never lived up to the hype then fine, but just as well believed the press and their negative reporting were responsible (in part) for MGR’s demise, don’t help them to hammer any new nails in. I am struggling to understand just exactly what would make you happy unless it was simply a reworked but now massively archaic Z??

  36. Sixtyten:

    “May I be the first to prostrate my self in awe struck amazement at the feet of those which such keen vision that they are able to discern so much detail from a low resolution flatly lit image, to the point they simply dismiss what it looks like out of hand.”

    Thank you, you’re very welcome.

    However, I am quite certain that you are absolutely right. All it will need is a little clever mood lighting and some decent photography and it could easily be transformed from hideously pig-ugly to a stunning looking vehicle. How could I be so dismissive purely based on two reasonably clear and undisguised photographs taken in broad daylight?!

  37. James:

    “As usual there are the naysayers quick to kill it in it’s tracks and to those people I say – if you want to perpetually live in the past with some rose tinted view of the Z series that never lived up to the hype then fine, but just as well believed the press and their negative reporting were responsible (in part) for MGR’s demise, don’t help them to hammer any new nails in. I am struggling to understand just exactly what would make you happy unless it was simply a reworked but now massively archaic Z??”

    What is gone, is gone. This is nothing to do with comparing it to an MG of old, what would impress me would be a design that could hold its own against modern alternatives. I’m not expecting them to be able to provide a viable alternative to a Golf, Peugeot, an Astra or a Focus etc. What leaves me so unimpressed is that this looks like a price led alternative purchase to a relatively very good looking Kia or Hyundai.

  38. Broadly speaking I agree with the comments #47 and #48 above.

    Judging by the photographs it looks to be a relatively innoffensive design if a bit generic. Very similar to most mainstream volume cars it is designed to complete with.

    The rear view in my opinion looks to have lost the smoothness of the concept car ( it may the the fairly poor photo) but as an overall design not much different to anything else out there.

    Harking back to the Z cars as an example of what SAIC should be building now is to me a bit ridiculous. The R and S were warmed over versions of archaic Rovers when they were introduced and slowly sank without trace. The T was a better proposition although personally I was never a fan of the droopy arsed retro styling of the 75 – the estate was much better in this respect.

    I think SAIC will make a success of the MG brand in the long term- after all, they are introducing two new cars – the MG3 and MG5 within a period of 12 months so are investing heavily. To me that shows a commitment.

    However, I do not think either of these new cars or future models will be built in the UK.

    Spending 5p on marketing (the MG6) and as a result seeing 15 cars a month registered for the whole of the UK is the writing on the wall for the UK operation.

  39. I think no matter what MG launch and no matter how good it looks we’ll still get the same old names saying one thing or another is wrong with it. I quite like the look of it, but then there are only two photos here, i can’t really see how anyone can form a strong opinion either way from “2” photos.

    I don’t understand how people here seem to think a car has to look totally different to the competition to sell. The Focus doesn’t look greatly different from the Astra, yet both sell extremely well. Rover did the whole thing of making cars that looked different, the 75 for example, and while i liked its retro looks, not that many of the general car buying public did. Fiat Multipla, that looked different from everything else on the road, that didn’t sell well either. Then there is the Chrysler PT Cruizer…

    For any mass market car it has to look recognisably different, but still obviously familiar. I think this gets it right.

  40. launched nov 18th to arrive in the uk sometime around 2014, they just dont get it and people can dress mg up as much as they like make as many assumptions as they want but from the initial launch of the new mg the marque as become the laughing stock of the uk . well done saic

  41. Ugh, another awful looking crate from MG. Hideous looks like a stilo from the back and its awful. I think they should just give up they clearly dont have a clue.

  42. @52 i agree with dennis,i seen a focus this morning in some sort of trim-be it sporty or customer spec and at first i thought oh its a kia!i just dont like the thing best driver in class or not.I like the astra which im biased because ive always loved vauxhalls(though i drive a golf gt tdi as everyday transport)but car makers are falling into the 90’s trap of euro car clones.Dont forget this is a chinese car and is not some deathtrap geely taxi,the MG5 could have been a lot worse and iys british designed surely?the photos above i dont think do it justice i think in the flesh it will fall in line-reminds me of a colt that rear somehow.Anyway i dont like the focus i like the astra no matter what inc gtc paris,the mini?shove it!

    • @Jason

      The styling is British and much of the engineering has been overseen by UK guys. You can be sure EU models will also have chassis set-ups tuned over here.

  43. the front look’s great but the back view is awfull as if it come’s from a totally differant car , why oh why didn’t they just put the mg 5 concept in production instead ?.

  44. @58 the design of the electrical architecture and the design itself i suppose,given that longbridge is supposed to be the design centre for mg-unless it was no23 province next to some gaff that knocks out snide ipods.

  45. Awful – if Cecil Kimber were alive today then he’d throw up on its doubtless millimetre-thin polyester carpet. It looks like two cars cut and shut (and a particularly unlucky combination of the two, at that), and there’s absolutely no original thinking there whatsoever. The Seventy Five was Rover’s last great piece of styling, and that was Richard Woolley, now long gone. Whoever did this have no connection with the real MG whatsoever.

  46. @63 we cant keep harking back to yesteryear david,mg of old is long gone,look what happened to jag with the s and x type and to a good extent rover with the 75,we cant do retro anymore now look at jag with the xf and xj-sellout hits compared to the models they replace,i agree the MG5 should have been as per concept,this car obviously polarizes opinion especially the rear,which to be frank is different from anything else on the market and im not too sure about it myself,but i want the bloody thing to sell over here because SAIC employ people here,i dont want the last vestiges of longbridge to become houses -id like to see volume production return-thats the nostalgia i care about.

  47. “now if you’ve bought a compact car from a major auto maker in the past year now is the time for some major regret, the MG5 is one of the best looking compacts to come out this year and is well worth the wait”
    I want a pint of what he’s having (or a pair of his rose-tinted specs). The MG5 is a pig. Any car launched in black is usually trying to hide its styling cues and I can see why with this.

    It’s about time we accepted that these are not cars for us and turned out back on the marque.

    If you want to see how this should be getting done then take a look at KIA/Hyundai. They have made a point of producing Euro-centric cars proudly carrying their own marque (the exact opposite ethos of China MG).

    The i40 has to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing estates on the market today and the new Rio and the pro’Ceed are a lesson on how things should be done. MG is just a badge to give sloppy rubbish some kudos in its own country.

  48. Another awful design from SAIC, what a let down compared to the Concept 5 🙁

    It’s another mish-mash of design ideas that don’t match from one end to the other, the rear looked awful from the first mock-up I saw of it and can’t believe they’ve stuck with it despite the feedback from the concept, which really could have put MG back on the map as an exciting, resurgent manufacturer.

    What we have now is another bland, poor quality design slanted for the Chinese market and SAIC expecting European \ UK buyers to flock to it when there are much better cars from established manufacturers with better support and warranty.

    Then they won’t release it for another year so it looks even more outdated than it does now! MG had to do something different to the other manufacturers to stand out, they had the sporting prestige of the marque which is being ripped apart by slapping the badge on sloppy Chinese cars and not even offering a “hot” model to give any sort of sporty image.

    Congratulations SAIC, churning out cars like these you’ll have a brand image in no time… unfortunately it’ll be that of Proton…

  49. It`s funny how people write game over,the end etc.I believe MG Roewe will over 250,000 cars this year.The MG5 and the new Roewe 750 will help push sales even further.Futher more expect a new MG1 and a new MG SUV in the next couple of years.Moan moan moan is all Britain is cabaple of these days.

  50. Has anyone asked SAIC what plans they have uk wise?has anyone noticed the economic turmoil in europe recently?the place is a disaster zone so much so europe is on the cap and badge(cadge)to the chinese to help them out-not likely son.In the fullness of time we may get a range of cars made in the uk,or we may not as ive said before the chinese dont owe us anything,rover folded case closed,all the labour government would do is meet a few weeks wages and didnt have the interest or stomach to keep it going especially after last time.Now SAIC call these cars MG because like it or not they own the name and the chinese like it very much.Ive seen better pictures of the MG5 and it looks class competitive and i prefer it to the focus.Thats me sticking my neck out then.If it was your money would you launch a car brand full-on in a recession as bad as this and getting worse?nah-nor would the chinese.

  51. I actually like this quite a lot. I am a fiesta Zetec S owner, but before I bought that I toyed briefly with a Kia Cee=apostrophe=d or a bigger Hyundai something-or-other, which were about the same price wise and twice the size. In the end I couldn’t bring myself to drive something so dull and the Fezza just felt ‘right’. However, if the MG5 has the same bargain prices as the Korean rivals, but with a little more ‘pep’ I might consider it.

    As for the styling- I see just a hint of Giulietta in there, anyone else?

  52. @68 Thanks Keith

    That’s something then? British designed and engineered, some assembly at Brum….must be a selling point?

    Check out the ad’s for the Evoque next time you’re in Euston…THAT’S how to advertise a car

  53. Obviously got to this thread late but as for the link showing the car from a better angle posted by Andrew Elphick in post 13, this is a rendering.

    One can’t help wondering that a convenient reflection on the photo is disguising the fact that the distinctive crease up the flanks hasn’t made it to the production model. Also the tailgate is definitely shallower on the image than in the flesh making for a better looking (hypothetical) car.

    If only…

  54. 68. nobody as ever doubted the fact that saic own the mg brand. what people doubt is the sincerity within the product. mg6/mg3/mg5 all good looking cars with possibly the ability to be good sellers . problem , mg6 is dead in the water . poor marketing ,poor advertising gave this car diesel or no diesel no chance and unless they start to deliver proffessional sales and marketing and bringing the products to a high profile attention the other models will go the same way, if by good fortune they manage to get it right make no mistake the facilities at longbridge are far from adequate and it wouldnt have the capacity to to produce volume production .ex contractor

  55. Phil: The lower swage line remains. Ignoring the renderings, the camo prototypes clearly have a bulk-reducing detail on the lower doors (nice visual trick, I’m seeing it more and more on small cars – the C3 has something similar); the tailgate depth is also similar to the camo prototypes.

    There’s room to improve it; chrome detailing on the upspec models might hide the depth bettter, and practically people want a low loading sill.

  56. “Cecil Kimber must be turning in his grave at the thought of the once famous MG badge adorning this car…….”

    I think Cecil Kimber is at rest. He, along with most sensible people, will know that this is not an MG.

  57. Cecil Kimber would probably be amazed and astounded by the performance, quality and pricing of any modern car, in fairness.

  58. As others have said, the rear end does look like a Vectra estate.

    I would have preferred the MG 350 saloon variant, looks slightly more distinctive

    Though I appreciate that hot hatches are not really saloon cars!

    MG needs to go rallying I feel. Fill the void left by Subaru and Mitsubishi. Make a name for itself. Subaru went from being a quirky tractor-showroom car to an established high-recognition brand in a matter of a few years.
    It could also give that “MINI” SUV effort a bloody nose! 🙂

  59. Keith
    The recent MG3 blog and this one are driving me mad through lack of genuine facts.How is the Roewe 550 and 350 doing in world markets. Is SAIC actually making these in good numbers and establishing them as desirable vehicles so that the MG mark actually has a solid background and a future.

  60. @75 all anyone has to do is ask SAIC if they are sincere,anyway apart from the lift and shift,they are still at longbridge are they not?there is still life in the place yet.If there is no capacity then it will be ckd or whatever and everyone can moan about marketing and diesel for ever more.the cars are selling in china maybe thats all that matters,all anyone on here does is moan and dog the product-its this its that etc etc,sad really as i agree the cars have potential its down to SAIC now i suppose…..

  61. It makes me laugh when I read detrimental comments about the likes of the Toyota or Hyundai or Kia. These companies are building cars people want and they’re building them well. That’s where the market is so that’s where MG needs to be in order to prosper.

    All this worshipping of the MG Z range is a joke. They were good cars – albeit warmed over ancient Rovers (75 excluded) – but not great and certainly did not sell in serious enough numbers to save the company.

  62. @82 i look at the alfa range and think id like one of those,or an astra gtc,insignia,kuga or a audi or fiat 5oo.I look at a toyota and think where do i put the washing powder-they are boring cars every last one of them,no one doubts how well they are built apart from the odd yank killed in one,i was so bored in an avensis i nearly got killed on the motorway because i forgot i was driving,hyundais are turd at least kias look ok because they are designed by a brit an some other european.they are souless who would buy an auris?either a driving school or someone with lilac hair.of course the z cars were good they were not just warmed over the engineers did put some time into them-steering racks were different as was suspension and shock absorber valving,ok the platforms were old but was still very capable-the vauxhall omega platform dates back to the mid seventies which is still used on the VXR8-ok modified.Rover would have gone under sooner but for the Z cars.

  63. @83 I agree that Rover would have gone under sooner without the Z cars. They were good cars but they were only ever a stopgap to bring a bit of cash in while a replacement for the 45 was developed. As such it worked – but only up to a point. Most people weren’t – and still aren’t – interested in obvious go faster jobs like the Z cars. Just about any car these days is perfectly capable of providing enough performance for the vast majority of owner-drivers. 0-60 and bhp are not great selling points by themselves. There has to be something else.
    Your comments about Toyota, Hyundai and Kia may well be true but my point is that that is where the market is. People are buying these cars and others like them. SAIC/MG cannot afford to not be part of that market. They have to offer a product that can compete with the rest of them and still offer that little bit extra that makes an MG. Mazda is a good example of what I mean. They have the 2, 3 and 6, ranging from basic cooking model to performance variants, and of course they have the MX5 too. MG would do well to use Mazda as their benchmark.
    Incidentally, you may well be right when you say that only a driving school or someone with lilac hair would buy an Auris, but round where I live the only MGs I see regularly, apart from boy racers in their MGZRs, are pensioners in MGZSs. Like I said, the Z cars worked – but only up to a point.

  64. @84 in a way the z cars show us how good rover engineers were when they had very little to work with and i think it was a crying shame given some of the designs in the pipeline,but alas it comes down to money-look what the german government did when it looked like opel was sinking-they bent over backwards all that happened here was the vultures at pwc flogged everything-but lets not get into that one!

  65. @85 It always comes down to money but then these companies are businesses and not charities. They’re supposed to make money. MGR, like all its predecessor companies, had just lost too much money over the years for it to continue. Given that so much public money had been spent on the company from the mid-70s onwards, and not all wisely spent by the company either, I think it was hardly surprising that the government took the view that enough was enough. The German government helped Opel because Opel was too big to fail (unlike MGR in 2005) just as they did with VW in the 1970s. Had Opel been down to producing under 200,000 cars a year with no new models in prospect then maybe they would have taken a different view.

  66. @Richard Addison – totally agree with you. Which is why I just don’t get the almost hysterical criticism of the 2 grainy images of the new MG5 becaus eon the surface of it it looks like it will be a pretty good car, the front end I think actually looks much better than the MG5 Concept car.

    Compare it to the new Kia C’eed and the upcoming Hyundai i30 and it’s a clear winner in my eyes at least – and people scoff all you like – MG needs to aim squarely at Kia and Hyundai for the moment, just as they are aiming for the big boys, MG need to walk before they can run.

    I know MG is an old brand, but they havent made a truly competitive mainstream car for decades and so this really is a fresh start. In that respect I think they are looking promising.

    I truly believe that if MG Rover had wheeled out something looking like the MG5 most people would have been drooling with excitement – and when one considers the monstrosities of the RD60 that have since emerged it makes this car look truly ahead of it’s time for MG.

  67. @James – I agree with you too. If MGR had turned out the MG5 and stuck a few union flags on it, people on here would turning cartwheels with delight.

  68. You could say a lot about this car, but none of them would probably include describing it as looking very ‘English’,which was part of the essence of the old MG.

  69. ” I truly believe that if MG Rover had wheeled out something looking like the MG5 most people would have been drooling with excitement ”

    Thank you, Richard, for a truly laugh-out-loud moment! I enjoyed it, thanks!

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