MG’s first electric sports car is now set for a reveal early next year, though the vehicle’s showroom debut is still some time away.
Autocar reports the reveal of the production MG Cyberster has been delayed, with plans to unveil it at this month’s Guangzhou motor show scrapped due to concerns the show will be postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19.
It’s now reportedly set for an April reveal, ahead of UK deliveries beginning in 2024 as had previously been reported – in time for the centenary of the MG brand.
The company’s local arm is also weighing bringing the electric roadster here, as it will be built in right-hand drive.
“We can confirm that we are reviewing the MG Cyberster for the Australian and New Zealand market in right hand drive configuration and are currently exploring different variants and specifications,” said a spokesperson for MG Motor Australia in August.
It’ll offer a choice of single-motor or “very high performance” dual-motor powertrains according to MG UK commercial director Guy Pigounakis, the former likely sending drive to the rear wheels as on the new MG 4.
How exactly it’ll be priced and positioned within MG’s crossover-heavy line-up is unclear.
“Right up to when the [first full-scale production prototype from China] was arriving [in the UK] we were looking at it as a natural successor to the MG F. It’s completely not. It’s in a completely different sector of the market,” said Mr Pigounakis.
While its role as the brand’s only sports car will lend a halo effect, Mr Pigounakis’ remarks point to the production Cyberster being potentially more expensive than had been envisaged.
According to recent trademark filings, MG could call it the C EV – a nod to the old six-cylinder, MG B-based MG C.
Indeed, MG captioned a recent teaser video with “return of the legend”, pointing to the brand dusting off an old nameplate.
The low-resolution teaser video, which was uploaded to MG UK’s social media, gives us a preview of what appears to be the production Cyberster.
The teaser follow a set of leaked patent images of the MG Cyberster from earlier this year, which reveal a more toned-down design compared to the initial Cyberster concept.
While there are still curvaceous haunches and bold Union Jack-style tail lights, as well as a similarly aggressive prow, the proportions are quite different from the concept which was hardly production-ready in appearance.
Overhangs are longer, particularly up front, while the wheels are smaller. There’s an actual roof, too, while the headlights are exposed.
Technical specifications haven’t been revealed yet, though the concept had a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.0 seconds and 800km of range.
Expect the production version of the MG Cyberster to have performance and range figures that are a little more down to earth.
MG hasn’t confirmed what platform the vehicle will use, though its new Modular Scalable Platform – which underpins the MG 4 – seems a likely choice.
The small electric hatchback offers a choice of 51kWh and 64kWh batteries, with range of between 350km and 450km on the WLTP cycle.
The entry-level version, which has been approved for sale locally ahead of a launch in the first half of 2023, produces 125kW of power.
Another single-motor rear-wheel drive version is available overseas and may come here, and produces 150kW of power.
Finally, the MG Mulan – as the MG 4 is known in China – is offered with a 330kW/600Nm dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain.
This Cyberster will have essentially no competition once it launches.
Given MG’s positioning more as a value-oriented brand, the production Cyberster is likely to undercut upcoming electric sports cars like the Lotus Type 135, due in 2026, and the Alpine A110 replacement that’ll share its platform, as well as the next Tesla Roadster.
Porsche is also preparing an electric replacement to its 718 Boxster and Cayman, which is due around 2024 or 2025.
While MG has always offered a range of sedans and/or hatchbacks, dating back to its founding in the UK in 1924, the demise of the TF droptop in 2011 has lead to one of its longest droughts without a sports car yet.