A new MG saloon has been launched, the first all-new product to wear the famous octagonal badge since MG Rover collapsed into administration in 2005. But for now, the MG 550 has only been introduced in the Chilean market.
Behind the MG badge this is a Roewe 550, a car developed by Shanghai Automotive and based on a heavily modified Rover 75 platform. It has an all-new interior and is powered by an updated version of the familiar Rover K-series engine in 1.8-litre turbo form.
The MG branding has come about as a result of last year’s merger between SAIC and fellow Chinese manufacturer Nanjing, which acquired rights to the MG brand. One of the reasons Chinese authorities encouraged the two car makers to join up was because SAIC lacked a globally recognised brand for exports – something confirmed by the less-than-subtle application of MG logos to the 550.
It’s likely that both the MG 550 and the 75-based MG 750 will be introduced to the European market, and may even be produced at Longbridge. The MG550 costs from 10.5 million Chilean Pesos – £9760 at current exchange rates.