The long-awaited MG3 super-mini was unveiled for the first time in the UK today at the brand’s legendary home at Longbridge.
In front of the nation’s press bosses of the now Chinese-owned car company revealed their new baby, converted for the UK market from a vehicle first unveiled in China nearly two years ago.
MG also provided a sneak peak at the MG CS concept urban SUV, expected to be launched in both China and the UK in 2015.
The new car is seen as a crucial step for MG, owned by the SAIC Group in China.
The MG6 saloon has been on sale for the past 18 months is still only a niche performer in the UK market. But, if the new super-mini tickles the public’s fancy it could mean the start of big sales for MG.
Built from the ashes of the collapsed MG Rover business, the UK business is now primarily the design hub for SAIC – more than 300 design staff work at Longbridge compared with around 40 on the production line.
Cars are currently made at the vast factory in Lanjing, China – largely equipped with machinery from the old MG Rover plant – and UK vehicles are transported by container for reassembly and testing at Longbridge.
The launch of the MG3 should see further production at the Birmingham site.
Unveiling the new car today, MG’s sales and marketing director Guy Jones said it combined sporting style with “cavernous” internal space. MG says the new car will comfortably fit two six footers in the back but is only four metres long.
Powered by a 1.5 litre four cylinder engine, Mr Jones said the new car ‘will be fun to buy, fun to own and fun to drive’.
Pitched in a highly competitive market up against the likes of the Skoda Fabia and Ford Fiesta it aims to offer a degree of personalisation that is completely new.
With 10 colours and three trim levels, Mr Jones said it means ‘each car can be pretty much unique’.
Performance and price details are being kept strictly under wraps until the car is launched in September but it will include DAB radio, hill start assist and easy to operate air conditioning.
MG spokesman Doug Wallace said the new car came after £500m investment in the Longbridge site since the Chinese re-launched the firm.