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Shanghai show: SAIC confirms MG E-motion

Arms up: A leaked image of MG’s new all-electric sports coupe reveals the car’s butterfly doors that might or might not make it into production.

Leaked picture reveals MG’s all-electric comeback sportscar ahead of show

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MG logo18 Apr 2017

By RON HAMMERTON

SAIC Motor has confirmed on the eve of the Shanghai motor show that its MG E-motion all-electric coupe concept is a goer for production within the next few years.

Speaking at what was supposed to have been an embargoed press preview of MG’s sportscar comeback in China, SAIC’s passenger vehicle product portfolio planning director Zhang Liang said the company had done a lot of the preparation in readiness for a production version of the 2+2 coupe.

A leaked picture of the Tesla competitor, showing its butterfly doors open, was published by Britain’s Auto Express in an article containing quotes from Mr Liang’s presentation, thus breaking the company embargo.

Until that point, SAIC – China’s biggest car manufacturer with a production tally of 6.5 million vehicles last year – had only released teaser images of the car and a handful of details, with the rest to come once the embargo lifts on Wednesday (April 19).

So far, powertrain details have been held tight, with SAIC only saying that the car is capable of the 0-100km/h dash in less than four seconds and can cover up to 500km on a full battery charge.

The vehicle marks a return to sports-oriented vehicles at the one-time British sportscar brand which has eschewed such cars since the demise of the MG F, favouring mass-market hatchbacks, sedans and SUVs instead.

The E-motion is built on SAIC’s new electric modular architecture that will underpin other models in SAIC’s home-brand line-ups, including Roewe.

The design – done at SAIC’s passenger car design studio in Shanghai – is said to have a European flavour. The grille is made up of LEDs in what is described as a “star matrix design”, while the headlamps are said to mimic the London Eye.

Vertical tail-lamps are said to mix a classic look with a “sense of the future”.

And, of course, MG has promised high levels of connectivity to appeal to younger drivers.

In Australia, MG has been relaunched with three models – the ageing MG6, small MG5 and, most recently, the MG GS small SUV. Later this year, another SUV, the ZS, is scheduled to be added to the line-up.

MG ended up in SAIC’s group of brands when it merged with another Chinese company, Nanjing Automotive, that bought both MG and Rover from British owners after the brands got in to financial difficulty.

SAIC has maintained MG’s design and engineering centre in the UK, but moved manufacturing to China.

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