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Shanghai show: MG unwraps CS SUV concept

High roller: The British-designed MG CS concept points to a future production SUV that is confirmed for Australian showrooms.

MG SUV takes shape with CS concept debut as MG3 hatch specs emerge

22 Apr 2013

MG MOTOR’S answer to compact SUVs such as the Nissan Dualis and Mitsubishi ASX broke cover at the Shanghai motor show on Saturday, closely resembling sketches issued last week.

The Chinese-owned British brand also announced European specifications for its entry-level MG3 light hatch, providing insights into what the Australian-delivered car might be like when it arrives here by year’s end.

MG’s CS concept previews a five-seat crossover that is confirmed to arrive in Australia in the middle of next year, six or seven months after the MG3 arrives to join the MG6 small car range that has just gone on sale here.

No new details were released about the car, but the heavily sculpted, sporty looking concept remains faithful to sketches seen last week.

If MG manages to put the CS into production without watering down the design, it will be one of the edgiest SUVs on the market, next to the successful Range Rover Evoque and polarising Nissan Juke that will launch later this year.

49 center imageFrom top: MG CS concept, MG3.

According to British publication Autocar, the production version is promised to look “remarkably similar” to the concept.

Autocar said MG design director Anthony Williams-Kenny likened the car to a gumboot, which was “a functional item that has now evolved to take on a stylish, premium role in certain parts of society”.

No drivetrain specifications were announced, but 1.5- and 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engines have been mooted, and MG’s well-received 1.9-litre turbo-diesel unit as used in the European MG6 would also be a natural fit.

On the other hand, MG has revealed the European-market MG3 will use a 78kW 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (a 66kW 1.3-litre is available in some markets), driving the front wheels through a five-speed manual transmission.

In keeping with its fun and funky, urban-oriented image, the MG3 will come with a range of personalisation options such as contrasting roof colours or designer stickers for most panels.

Other areas such as interior trims, alloy wheels and air vents will also come in various designs.

At 4015mm long, and 1520mm tall, the MG3 is 49mm shorter and 20mm lower than a Volkswagen Polo.

MG claims the car will be affordable and fun to buy, own and drive.

The fun-to-drive element of the British designed and engineered five-door hatch stems from “hundreds of thousands of miles of testing on European roads”.

MG says the MG3 is “intended to deliver impressive levels of body control, sharpness and a willingness to corner to engage keen drivers”, while offering “sure footed handling and impressive ride comfort”.

A sharply styled front-end with ‘hockey stick’ LED daytime running lights flanking a large lower air intake, two-tone diamond-cut alloy wheels and a rear diffuser and roof spoiler combo give the MG’s smallest model a hot-hatch look.

Black windscreen pillars give the appearance of wrap-around glass, while two-tone side-skirts aid the purposeful stance.

The interior is claimed to “easily accommodate four six-foot (183cm) individuals”, including headroom, while a “rolled and raised” dashboard is said to “create an airy forward cabin space and increased legroom, while allowing excellent access to primary and secondary controls”.

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