MG's Icon crossover concept.

MG's Icon crossover concept.

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 as well.