MG is working on a new hatchback that could replace the ageing MG 3, and take over from the ZS EV as the cheapest electric car in its range.
The hatchback was captured on video by Dániel Balogh and uploaded to the Hungarian Supercar Spotters channel on YouTube (talk about scope expansion!)
This gives us a better look at the upcoming MG, of which darker spy photos were captured and shared recently on Chinese media.
The angled headlights and Cyberster concept-inspired bumper give the hatchback’s front end a more aggressive look than the MG 3.
With its sharp shoulder line and crease above the rocker panels, the side of the hatchback isn’t far removed from the current MG 3 at first glance.
Look closer, however, and you’ll notice more modern door handles and a more rakish roofline and a restyled greenhouse.
Down back there’s still a tight rear overhang, but the tailgate is more steeply raked and the tail lights look to be diagonal.
A faux spoiler appears to have been installed to disguise the rear end.
Previous spy photos shared across Chinese media have given us a glimpse at the interior, though lighting precluded us from seeing much beyond a pair of quite well-bolstered leather sports seats up front.
Reports from China indicate the new hatchback could be offered with both internal-combustion and electric power.
Autocar reports the five-door light hatch, which MG confirmed the existence of to CarExpert last year, is set for a UK launch in 2023.
It’ll reportedly be previewed in concept form at April’s Beijing motor show, before a production version is revealed during the second half of 2022.
There’s been no word yet on an Australian launch, though the company has previously said it would like to introduce the model here along with a mid-sized electric SUV.
It’s possible the light hatch could use a smaller battery pack than the larger ZS EV, which in updated form – due here in the second half of this year – offers a choice of 51kWh and 72kWh batteries.
The former offers 320km of range, the latter 440km, with both supporting three-phase 11kW home AC charging plus DC charging.
The drive motor outputs for the updated ZS EV have been changed to 130kW and 280Nm, bringing the 0-100km/h time to 8.6 seconds. The outgoing motor had less power but more torque. However the new motor uses less energy, which helps range.
Regardless of what battery it ends up using, the EV hatchback will serve as a rival to the likes of the Honda e, Mini Electric, Opel/Vauxhall Corsa-e, Peugeot e-208 and Renault Zoe in Europe. Only the Mini is currently sold in Australia.
It’ll also give the MG line-up an entry-level electric car. Should it come here, it would give MG a rival to the Ora Good Cat from rival Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors.
MG currently only offers the ZS EV small SUV in Australia, though it has a plug-in hybrid version of its mid-sized HS SUV.
In other markets, its electric line-up is more fulsome.
The larger Roewe Marvel R and the small Roewe ei5 wagon are both sold as MGs in Europe – as the MG Marvel R and MG 5, respectively – with the latter also offered in right-hand drive guise in the UK.
MG Motor Australia said late last year it regularly evaluates potential product, but there are currently no plans to offer the Marvel R or MG 5 wagon here.
The MG 3 was first revealed at the 2010 Beijing motor show, with a facelifted model debuting in 2018.
That means it’s now over a decade old, well past the standard lifecycle in this segment. It’s no longer sold in China, though it’s exported from there to markets like Europe and Australia.
MORE: Everything MG 3