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MG4 Electric hatch heading Down Under

Battery-electric MG4 five-door hatch to debut in Europe in late 2022, Aus in Q1 2023

4 Jul 2022

MG MOTOR Australia looks set to offer its first fully electric small hatchback – the MG4 Electric – in early 2023, providing the Chinese brand with an answer to the Nissan Leaf and European compact BEVs such as the Cupra Born, Renault Megane E-Tech and VW ID.3.


The MG4 Electric will enter production later this year and is the first model based on the brand’s new Modular Scalable Platform (MSP), which was developed by MG parent company SAIC Motor. 


An unusually low-profile battery pack in the MG4 Electric (even by dedicated BEV-model standards) will be available in 51kWh and 64kWh capacities, which are said to offer ranges of up to 350km and 450km respectively.


The MG4 Electric is undergoing the final phase of a 120,000km evaluation program (under a variety of conditions) in Europe and due to be launched on the Continent during the fourth quarter of 2022.


With the MG4, MG Motor will enter the important European C-segment hatchback market as a “smart choice” for motorists who are ready to switch to an electric vehicle.


An MG Motor Australia spokesperson told GoAuto the company that “we expect to see this model locally in Q1 2023” and that it was “currently reviewing the MG4 for the Australian market and exploring different variants”.


With dimensions of 4287mm (length), 1836mm (width) and 1504mm (height), the MG4 Electric is similar in size to a Volkswagen Golf and bound to cause a stir in this competitive segment, particularly if its local importer adopts the usual aggressive pricing policy.


According to company information, the MG4 Electric “offers a comfortable and spacious cabin with enough space for a family of five, while maintaining sleek and sporty proportions”.


The car’s 50:50 weight distribution and low centre of gravity (facilitated by the location and design of its battery back) promises to benefit ride and handling, while encouraging sharp steering and stable cornering. 


Equipped with the thinnest battery pack ever developed by SAIC Motor (with a height of just 110mm), the MG4’s energy storage contributes significantly to its low-slung design and relatively spacious cabin. 


MG Motor has opted for a rear-wheel-drive configuration, the 64kWh variant transferring a maximum output of 150kW to the rear axle, while the 41kWh version produces a peak output of 125kW. 


The MG4 Electric is said to accelerate from 0-100km/h in less than eight seconds, while the top speed is set at 160km/h. Further variants of the MG4 Electric are planned, including all-wheel-drive versions.


SAIC’s new platform (suitable for wheelbases ranging from 2,650 to 3,100mm) offers MG Motor a raft of advanced technologies.


For example, the system voltage of the electronic drive unit, which includes eight-layer hairpin technology and special oil cooling, could be upgraded from 400V to 800V in future.


“In the ONE PACK battery system (with its recumbent battery-cell arrangement and bespoke cooling system), the projection area of all batteries on the MSP is the same; the connectors related to components are also the same, said SAIC Motor deputy chief engineer Zhu Jun.


Under this design concept, theoretically, batteries ranging from 40kWh to 150kWh can be accommodated.” 


The powertrain is also capable of supporting future BaaS (Battery as a Service) battery swap systems.


“It can meet the energy requirements of A to D class models, providing users with diverse choices. Users can buy a small battery first, and then replace and upgrade when a longer range is needed,” explained Dr Jun.


The integrated service-oriented architecture also enables vehicles to receive over-the-air updates throughout their lifecycle and supports Pixel Point Cloud Comprehensive Environment Mapping (PP CEM), which is required for advanced autonomous driving solutions.

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