Among the visitors to the Shanghai show was a group of UK dealers, in the city as guests of MG’s Chinese owner SAIC, and they were given the low-down on the brand’s product plans for the next five years.
Central to that was the launch at the show of the MG 5 concept, a forerunner to the production model that will spearhead the brand’s drive into overseas markets alongside the MG 3, 6 and 7.
The dealers were told that long term plans include a new sports car which would have to be rear-wheel drive “to invoke the spirit of the MGB“. It would be 2016 at the earliest before this car is launched since feasibility studies are only just beginning.
A crossover to rival Kia Sportage and Nissan Qashqai is pencilled in for 2104 as is a replacement for the MG 7 which will be built off the same platform as the Vauxhall Insignia since SAIC has access to GM technology through its Chinese joint venture.
This JV will also see a new family of 1.0-1.5 litre engines developed.
Hybrids and EVs are also in the pipeline with the all-electric EP11, based on SAIC’s E1 concept unveiled at the Shanghai show, due to debut in October 2013. This will have both slow and rapid recharging.