RAC Cars News


MG CS Concept SUV On Show In Shanghai

By raccars Published

It seems all the major manufacturers are gunning for Nissan's Qashqai and Juke SUVs and the latest contender comes from MG. The brand's Chinese owners are going full throttle to revive the MG name, with various models planned for upcoming release, but the CS SUV is confirmed for global release in 2015.

While the company is under Chinese management, the CS design team is headed by a Brit and the company is keen to stress the car's British origins. The five-seater CS is the first SUV from a brand famous for its sports cars, but with compact SUVs the fastest growing market sector in the auto industry, now is the time to capitalise. MG purists are unlikely to approve.

The concept car shown in Shanghai last week is said to be an almost complete version of the production model. Design team leader, Anthony Williams-Kenny, has commented that the design brief insisted upon practicality first, using the wellington boot as an unlikely blueprint. In essence, the MG CS was required to be as comfortable in the country as the city, to fulfil commitments to function in addition to form, but in a premium quality and stylish package.

Information is sparse so far on powertrains, but industry rumour has cited the probability of 1.5 and 2.0 litre turbo petrol units for the Chinese market, with an additional diesel option in Europe. Other possibilities include the 1.8-litre 158bhp petrol and 1.9-litre146bhp diesel four-cylinder engines used by the MG6. There is also the possibility of four-wheel drive as an option in addition to the standard front-wheel drive.

In concept form, the CS displays some rather flamboyant design elements that show a car aimed squarely at the youth market. However, some of these are likely to be diluted by the time the car hits the production line, to ensure appeal to a wider market. Its beefy curves are reminiscent of but more dramatic than the Range Rover Evoque and were extremely popular at the Shanghai show. The CS will need to straddle carefully the tricky line between classic, retro appeal and modernity, for the production model to achieve the success the brand needs in Europe.

The CS is due to reach European roads in 2015, before the previously announced MG5 and is expected to be priced around £15,000, while MG's earlier SUV concept, the Icon, is still in the running for a 2016 release.

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