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MG makes a splash with 6

Phoenix rises: MG is set to launch a new UK-designed model, the MG6, with an 1.8-litre engine.

Shanghai’s MG wheels out first new model under Chinese ownership

26 Nov 2009

MG HAS taken the wraps off the production version of its all-important MG6, the company’s first new model since 1999 and the first under Chinese owner Shanghai Automobile Industry Corporation (SAIC).

The smooth new five-door fastback, to be built in both China and the UK, will add fresh metal to an ageing three-car MG model line-up when it goes on sale in China in January and later in the year in Europe.

The MG6 uses the platform and powertrain from the Roewe 550, a sedan SAIC introduced to the Chinese market in 2008 and which uses a modified Rover 75 platform as its basis.

The MG6 was engineered and designed at the SAIC Longbridge facility in the UK where SAIC has a few hundred engineers and a new design centre.

The new MG6, which was shown in concept form at this year's Shanghai motor show in China, is 4653mm long, 1827mm wide and 1478mm high and sits on a 2705mm wheelbase.

The MG6 will be offered with a choice of 119kW turbo or 99kW naturally aspirated 1.8-litre four-cylinder N-series engines based on the Rover K-series.

49 center imageAn Aisin five-speed automatic is the only transmission on offer at this stage, as 90 per cent of Chinese buyers in the MG6’s category elect to buy automatics.

Reports earlier this year suggested that new 1.5-litre naturally aspirated and turbo petrol engines might also find their way under the MG6 bonnet, teamed with a CVT or six-speed manual. These engines are to be built at SAIC’s new 250,000-volume engine facility at its Nanjing plant but are likely for the Chinese-market MG6 only.

The MG6 will join carry-over MG/Rover products produced by SAIC, the MG TF, MG 7 (a rebadged Rover 75) and MG 3SW (a rebadged Rover 25).

The MG6 is the first of a line of new models in the pipeline for the MG marque. A small car called the MG5 is expected by 2011, and will use the recently announced Roewe 350 as its basis. Engines are believed to be the 1.5-litre units to be used in MG6.

The MG6 will be produced from December in a new factory in Lingang, China, for the Chinese market. UK production at SAIC’s Birmingham plant will commence late 2010 with sales planned for the UK and exports to Europe before the end of 2010.

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