MG is Shanghai Favorite

This MG 6 liftback could herald the return of MG to North America, according to officials from Chinese parent company SAIC.

Badged MG 6, the new four-door was the undisputed star of the Shanghai motor show. The MG 6 has been conceived to breathe new life back into the MG brand following its purchase by SAIC. The Chinese automaker also owns the former Rover, known as Roewe, which it bought from the Nanjing Automobile Group in 2007.

Although billed as a concept, the MG 6 closely resembles the car SAIC plans to put into production later this year based on the same basic underpinnings the Roewe 550, itself built around a modified version of the Rover 75 platform originally engineered by BMW.

The MG 6 also establishes a design template for future MG models, including a smaller model that is likely to come off the same underpinnings as sister company Roewe’s slick new N1 concept, also revealed in Shanghai, and planned to carry the name MG 4.

MG was content to let the cohesive styling of its latest concept car do all the speaking in Shanghai. Few other details were announced.

The car’s dimensions are said to be very close to the Roewe 550, which measures 182.1 inches in length and 71.9 inches in width–roughly the same size as the Volkswagen Jetta.

As befitting the MG brand–established by Cecil Kimber in 1924 at his Morris Garages workshop in Oxford, England, much of the design of the 6 was carried out at SAIC technical centre in England.

Early plans were established to build the MG 6 in the former Rover plant at Longbridge now also owned by SAIC. However, MG officials at the Shanghai motor show indicated this won’t happen. While SAIC is happy to reveal the design of the upcoming MG 6, it is not saying much about its mechanical layout. It’s unclear if the new MG will be sold in front- or rear-wheel drive guise–both are possible. The production version due out next year will almost certainly use MG’s 1.8-liter four-cylinder N-series engine. It develops 133 hp in naturally aspirated guise and 180 hp in turbocharged form. There are also plans for a luxuriously equipped range-topping model powered by the company’s 2.5-liter V6, which also puts out 180 hp.

Source: AutoWeek