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Revealed: MG’s city friendly cruiser

Light contender: Chinese-owned MG is targetting fellow foreign-owned British icon Mini with its latest creation.

MG3 aims to take on Mini and Citroen’s DS line with a customisable city hatchback

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MG logo13 Jun 2013

By BARRY PARK

REBORN British/Chinese marque MG has unveiled the latest car in its growing line-up – the five-door MG3 light-sized hatch.

Revealed at Chinese parent company SAIC Motor’s European Design Centre in Birmingham, the latest MG takes a page from the book of both Citroen’s DS-branded cars and Mini, allowing owners to individualise their vehicles via a long list of add-ons and accessories.

Due off MG’s Birmingham assembly line later this year, few details have leaked out about the MG3. However, it was revealed that the car will use a 77kW 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels – about the same as Volkswagen’s turbocharged 1.2-litre engine that powers the Polo city car.

According to MG, it will use a five-speed manual gearbox.

Looking like a cross between a BMW 1 Series and the Citroen DS3, the MG will have a choice of 10 external paint colours and up to 10 different stick-on decals, including the iconic Mini-inspired British flag, and a smattering of smiley faces.

“Roof, side and bonnet graphics will allow owners to personalise their own MG3,” the car-maker said.

“Interior trims, wheels, vents, surrounds and mats will all be available in a choice of designs, colours and finishes allowing you to make your MG3 truly personal.”

According to MG, the range will start with 16-inch alloy wheels, and include signature “hockey stick” LED daytime running lights set around a black mesh grille, and sportier body plastics.

It includes blacked-out pillars to give the look of a floating roof – another Mini signature.

The car-maker says the front seats are styled to open up rear legroom in the four-metre-long car.

MG’s Australian importer has flagged that the MG3 is a high priority for its showroom, with the car likely to be a starter here early next year.

As for pricing? Citroen’s smart-looking 88kW three-door DS3 range starts from a snip under $28,000, while the cheapest Mini that money can buy is the $25,600 three-door, steel-wheeled Ray fitted with a 72kW 1.6-litre engine.

Expect the five-door MG3 to cut under that price band.

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