SAIC bought the rights to Rover when Rover fell apart after its sale by BMW for £10. But they didn’t secure all the rights to the ‘Rover’ name, so we won’t be seeing new Rovers by name, but instead we are to get a Rover 75 based MG – the first new MG launch since the ZS and ZT in 2001.
Yesterday SAIC unveiled the new MG6, a sport hatchback based on the Rowe 550 (which is itself based on a shortened wheelbase Rover 75) and its destined to come to the UK next year. And it looks to be a pretty good stab at a new MG.
Sporting much more European styling than expected (although to our eyes it does have the look of a Lexus) this certainly seems to have legs (depending on pricing) although it will probably be derided by the MG enthusiasts. Still, there are plenty of people who relate to the MG name, so that gives SAIC a head start.
Expected to be powered by a 1.8 litre turbo engine based on the old Rover K Series engine (which powered some Rover 75s and MGs) this will be SAIC’s first foray back in to the European market with a new MG/Rover.
SAIC has been working on getting the new car homologated for Europe, and the cars have been spotted testing in Germany recently. But the MG6 is just the start. The saloon version (marketed in China as the Roewe 550) is likely to turn up in Europe as the MG5.
Look out. The Chinese are coming!