Long revered as a maker of sports cars, MG may be attempting a return to the North American market with a compact SUV, although earlier in the 2014 it had announced a possible new sports coupe with which to launch a North American assault.
The storied British carmaker, which around the turn of the century was bought up by China’s Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), has since seen its badge on a couple hatchback models — MG3 mini-compact and midsized MG6 (which also includes a sedan version) — and is now ready to launch an SUV based on a four-year old SsangYong Korando into the Chinese market, according to chinanews.com. It’s scheduled to hit the streets by summer 2015, starting at 120,000 Chinese Yuan (roughly $22,500 Canadian).
The version is called MG GTS and is based on the concept CS shown at the Shanghai Motor Show in April 2013. The production version reportedly borrows suspension components from Volkswagen’s Tiguan (Volkswagen also builds vehicles in and for China in partnership with SAIC, as does GM). Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, channelling 220 hp through a six-speed dual clutch transmission.
SAIC does have North American headquarters (in Birmingham, Michigan), as well as a technical centre and assembly plant in Birmingham, England, where MG6 models are produced.
No announcement has yet been made about marketing the GTS outside of China, but it seems logical to assume it will at least make it to the UK. And if compact SUVs continue to be attractive to buyers on this side of the Atlantic, especially in wintry areas of the continent, it could mean a return for MG to North America after a 30-plus year absence.