Whenever the monthly sales figures are released, it quickly becomes apparent that Australians love MG at the moment. The ZS and ZST are the best-selling vehicles in the small SUV category, while the MG 3 dominates the light car segment, selling more than every other entrant by a considerable margin.
The vehicles, while clearly very appealing to the average motorist are a love-it or hate-it proposition. The hate it camp cites the made-In-China origins as it was once a prominent UK brand. Convertibles and wind-in-the-hair motoring were the mainstay of Morris Garages.
Since its acquisition by Chinese company SAIC Motor, MG has been reinvented as a mass-market brand, successfully trading on its brand cache. To be fair, MG is embracing its heritage in the form of a new electric roadster called the Cyberster, which should land in Australia next year.
This top 10 is part of a new segment we are trying called Product Planner. The object of this exercise is to conjure up new model ideas for manufacturers from an enthusiast’s point of view, without the constraints of rationality or bean-counters. Here are 10 we came up with using a combination of Photoshop and AI.
2023 MG HS 7-seater
Although the MG brand has been more successful overall than its nearest rival, GWM/Haval, the Haval H6 and H6 GT are outselling it so far this year according to VFACTS figures.
Our proposal borrows the entire rear end section of its SAIC stablemate, the LDV D90, including its clever rear seat arrangement. This would imbue the HS 7-seater with the largest third row in the segment, and the only one that could accommodate 6-foot-plus adults.
While we’re on the HS though, we would want to do something about the AWD’s dreadful six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The Aisin-sourced eight-speed automatic featured in the LDV MIFA is a much smoother operator and more appropriate for a vehicle of this type, in our opinion.
2024 MG 3 Sports Turbo
Hot hatches are strewn throughout MG’s history, in the form of the Metro, Maestro Turbo and most-recently, the ZR. Arguably, the MG 3 has the fundamentals of a hot hatch.
And as of yesterday, there is a strong indication its 2024-2025 MG 3 successor will indeed go down this road. We relish the idea of a six-speed manual tied to the HS’s 1.5-litre, 119kW turbo engine. Only time will tell.
2024 MG 3 6R4 Rallye
In the early 1990s, MG Rover’s entry into the infamous Group B rally category was a mid-engined version of the Metro hatch. A cult hero, its mid-mounted V6 went on to form the basis of the Jaguar XJ220’s twin-turbo powerplant – the world’ fastest production car at the time (until the McLaren F1 came along five minutes later).
This vision draws on that model, but is more a stripped-out club racer aimed at entry-level racing. Think the Hyundai Excel category designed to give you the thrill of racing without the massive price tag.
2023 MG 3 Sedan
Who knew the MG3 would lend itself so well to a mini-gangster sedan – like a Chrysler 300C that has been shrunk in the wash.
Small sedans are a dying breed, but something like this could broaden the appeal of the small car to those who consider the hatch too dainty.
2024 MG ZT V8
Few would now remember the MG ZT – a warmed-over version of the Rover 75, that also had a rear-drive chassis transplant with a Ford V8. Seeing that General Motors is more closely aligned to MG these days than Ford (through its partnership with SAIC Motor), they seem like the more likely partnership for this revival.
Stampings from the Alpha RWD platform (Camaro, Cadillac CT4) would give a new ZT the bones to handle GM’s latest small block V8 engine, in the form of the 6.2-litre LT2 V8, backed by the 10L80 10-speed automatic gearbox. With a low starting price, this would give crestfallen Falcon and Commodore buyers a place to call home.
2023 MG 3 EV
This one is self-explanatory, but probably impossible with the current-generation platform, which harks back to 2011, before EV-compatibility became a consideration. 300km seems to be the psychological barrier for early adopters, which would probably necessitate at least a 35-40kWh battery.
The MG3’s nimble dimensions combined with the instant torque of an electric motor would make for a very fun little zipabout for the city. MG has ruled out an electric MG 3 at this stage on cost grounds, as value is the raison d’etre of the MG 3. But maybe the next-gen model?
2024 MG ZST Coupe
The coupe-SUV trend started with the BMW X6 but has filtered downstream to the likes of Renault Arkhana and Haval H6 GT. Given MG’s sporting history, a coupe version of the popular ZST seems like it would have fit in well with the rest of the lineup.
2023 MG ZS Hybrid and 2024 MG ZST Plug-in hybrid
MG sells a hybrid version based on the ZS in Thailand, called the VS. It is essentially a rebadged product from sister-brand Roewe (formerly Rover), with no MG design language.
While that model would give MG a combatant for the Haval Jolion Hybrid, a PHEV model would flesh out the range nicely too, using the same powertrain as the HS+EV but in a smaller package. To keep costs down, perhaps this can be based on the ZS rather than the ZST.
2024 MG 4 petrol
SAIC Motor has demonstrated a proclivity for reverse engineering an EV (the LDV MIFA 9) into a petrol-powered car and has stated this will be a way that LDV engineers products going forward.
We are not sure if there is any scope to do this on the MG 4‘s EV platform, but if there was, it’d be a handy rival to the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 for people who aren’t ready to switch to an EV just yet.
2024 MG Midget and MG RV8
While the Cyberster is undeniably a cool and interesting flagship and brings MG back to its roots, we’d love to see a return of the MG Midget, though in this PC-age of cancel-culture, it may not get away with that moniker.
The RV8 was a retro-tastic version of the MGB which debuted in the early 1990s, powered by an injected Rover V8 engine. Once again, GM’s small-block Chev V8 could be called upon for a spiritual successor.