MG to return to the roadster game with electric MX-5 Miata rival


MG E-motion concept, 2017 Shanghai auto show   [photo: Ronan Glon]

MG E-motion concept, 2017 Shanghai auto show [photo: Ronan Glon]

MG isn't known for crossovers and sedans like it sells today under its Chinese owner SAIC. The British brand is best remembered for spritely roadsters of the 20th century, and according to MG, the brand will return to its roots.

Speaking to Australian publication Drive in an interview published Thursday, MG head of design Shao Jingfeng confirmed the development of a new roadster. And it will specifically take on the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The new MG roadster won't be a Miata copycat, though.

Instead, it will feature an electric powertrain and boast all-wheel drive while sitting on a brand new platform. Reports from 2014 hinted at MG's development of a new platform specifically for a small sports car. The brand's plan has long been to re-establish the marque with mainstream offerings, which it has done, and then return focus to MG's roots.

MG E-motion concept, 2017 Shanghai auto show [photo: Ronan Glon]

MG E-motion concept, 2017 Shanghai auto show [photo: Ronan Glon]

"I will make [the] MG brand closer to history because the brand stopped for several years, and for customers [building SUVs] doesn’t answer, 'who is MG?' So we need to get back to the beginning," Jingfeng said.

The plans for a new roadster come as SAIC is flush with cash to expand MG after launching a sedan and new crossover models globally. MG also showed off the E-Motion concept (shown above) in 2017, which hinted at an electric sports coupe. Jingfeng said plans at MG include a "motorsports car, a sports car" and more electric cars.

The head MG designer did not say when we should expect to see a new roadster, but it's unlikely the car will ever reach U.S. shores.

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