And looking pretty good too!
It’s been a long time since the death of Rover and the Phoenix Consortium, a group which didn’t turn out to be phoenixes at all but a team which pushed one of the worlds most recognisable marques to the brink.
Famous for creating the best of the British two-seater sports cars, a classic front engine rear wheel drive, lightweight car perfectly designed to rule the tight and winding roads of Europe the MG Motors brand is one of the worlds great marques. A design which still forms the basis for most small fun two-seater roadsters. With iconic models like the midget using the A series engine made famous in the Mini Cooper, the MGB GT and it’s high tech use of the unitary chassis rather than the traditional body on frame design through to the MGF, the last of the two-seater sports cars made in the UK; the MG brand is known and loved by car enthusiasts the world over.
So, What’s Happened Since?
In 2005 MG became a subsidiary of SAIC Motor UK and was renamed MG Motor UK Ltd. Starting with the MG6 and MG TF the company went on to re-establish itself as one of the premier car manufacturers in the UK winning 3rd place in the Auto Express 2014 Driver Power Survey. This year was also the year in which MG launched the MG3 a sporty looking hatchback which helped the company drive a considerable increase in sales.
Since 2014 the powers that be at MG Motors have decided to take the brand in a slightly different direction. Gone are the little 2 seat roadsters; replaced by some very stylish SUV’s (The MG GS and MG ZS). This was driven by the switch in consumer behaviour away from a ‘car for the weekend’ to a much more family oriented, do anything, go anywhere ‘flexible vehicle’ market in which the SUV is the go-to choice for modern consumers.
What About the Future of MG Motors?
In 2018 SAIC opened a new advanced design studio in London which will be the design hub for all new MG models going forward. This will complement the existing research and development facility still operating from Longbridge.
The new creative space is SAIC’s first facility specialising in Advanced Digital Design Technology and works with other studios to support future product designs for MG Motors as well as other marques within the SAIC stable.
The facility makes use of advanced virtual reality technology to design vehicles, which allows for the designers to fully immerse themselves into the design concepts, greatly improving the level of detail at which ideas can be reviewed before they are turned into more costly physical models.
With a major move planned into the electric vehicle space, we are sure to see a number of designs appearing based around the superb E-Motion concept car released at the 2017 Shanghai Motor Show. Until then the superb little MG3 ‘supermini’ alongside the excellent MG GS and MG ZS models means that for the first time in quite a while MG seems to have a very bright future.
In 2010, MG Motors unveiled the all-new MG3. Released in the UK in 2013 with the responsive 1.5L petrol engine. At the time MG also launched an ‘Xross’ model aimed squarely at the Fiat Panda 4×4 market. Largely due to the MG3’s styling and value it was voted the ’10th-Best Car To Own’ in the Auto Express Driver Power survey of 2015.
For the 2016 model year, the MG 3 was upgraded for the UK Market. The SMTC developed 1.5L petrol engine was tuned to meet EU 6 Emissions and was upgraded to include the new stop-start feature. The new two-tone paint schemes were developed to make the MG3 one of the most ‘modifiable’ cars on the market with a number of chic and fun styling options available.
In 2018, the MG 3 underwent a full face-lift which has really established the MG3 as one of the most stylish ‘cool’ superminis on the market today. The face-lift featured updated exterior styling, which incorporates MG’s new design language, an upgraded interior with a 7-inch touchscreen, and a refined engine.
The MG GS
The GS was launched at the Auto Shanghai Motor Show in April 2015 it closely resembles the MG CS Concept that was shown at the same show in 2013. It was launched in the UK in May 2016, at the London Motor Show with sales beginning later that year. As the first foray into SUV’s for MG (SAIC have produced SUV’s for a number of their other brands) the car had to be right, and it was.
With a combination of reliability, economy, the flexibility a modern family needs and a great low price compared to many of its contemporaries the MG GS showed that although the SUV was a departure for the marque it was a move which MG made with ease.
The MG ZS
Following the success of the GS, MG Motors decided to develop the range and in November 2016 the MG ZS was unveiled using the same name as the earlier Rover 45 based MG ZS.
Announced at the London Motor Show in 2017 it was released in the UK in late 2017. The MG ZS is smaller in size than the MG GS and is positioned as a smaller, more compact SUV. However, it’s styling, based on the new design philosophy applied by MG makes it a car which stands out without breaking the bank.