While MG may not have returned to its former glory under Chinese ownership, the brand appears to be both healthy and eyeing future market growth, as evidenced by a new compact crossover concept to be shown at the Beijing Auto Show.
Called the Icon, the concept bears a striking resemblance to the MGB GT, a tiny hatchback that enjoyed reasonable sales on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 1960s and 1970s. Seen as a practical-but-sporty alternative to the MGB roadster, the GT offered up four (small) seats, a versatile rear hatch and all-weather comfort.
The Icon is said to represent a Chinese-market model scheduled for introduction in 2014. It will use the same platform as the existing MG 6 and upcoming MG 5
models, which in turn share a platform with the Roewe 350 sedan. Both MG and Roewe are owned by China's Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC).Autoweek
believes that the Icon will use the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine found in the Roewe 350 and the MG 5, mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
Currently, only the MG 6 sedan
is built and sold outside China, having been launched in the U.K. in 2011. Rumor has it that the MG 5 hatchback, poised for imminent introduction in China, will makes its way to the UK by 2014.
That bodes well for the future of the MG Icon; while it’s currently described as a model for the Chinese market, demand could dictate export sales