MG is hoping to attract a new generation with the car, a crossover SUV.
The five-seat GTS is the model that MG’s Chinese owner, Shanghai Automobile and Industrial Corporation, is hoping will revive the marque’s once-proud octagon badge.
Roughly the same size as the Nissan Qashqai, the SUV will compete in the fastest-growing segment of the new-car market but will face tough competition from the popular Nissan, as well as the Mazda CX-5 and the revamped Honda CR-V.
Four-wheel drive will be an option, and a dual-clutch automatic gearbox will be offered as standard, but it is not known whether a diesel engine will be available: only a 2-litre turbocharged petrol unit has been confirmed. The car will ride high on its suspension and have a roof that tapers to the rear to make it look more dynamic.
MG is likely to play on the brand’s sporting heritage and market the model as a performance SUV — it already claims it can sprint from 0 to 100km/h in eight seconds — but the car is also likely to undercut its more established rivals in price when it arrives in Britain once it has been launched in China in the northern spring.
After the collapse of MG Rover in 2005, the rights to the MG badge were bought by SAIC, which launched its first model, the MG6 hatchback, in 2011. Final assembly work for British cars took place on the site of the old factory in Birmingham, and the company later launched a British design centre, but sales were slow.