MG debuting MG 3-sized electric hatchback this year – report

MG is continuing its efforts to help bring electric vehicles to the masses, with its affordable ZS EV soon to be joined by an even cheaper electric hatchback.

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William Stopford
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MG just launched Australia’s most affordable electric vehicle, but it has an even cheaper EV planned.

Slotting in under the ZS EV will be a new electric hatchback sized similarly to the MG 3, reports Autocar.

It’s set to be launched by the end of this year, serving as a low-cost rival to the Renault Zoe and Mini Electric. Whether it’ll come here, however, isn’t yet known.

The new model won’t replace the ageing but increasingly popular MG 3 and will instead be sold alongside it, at least initially.

No technical details are public but Autocar says it’s likely to use a smaller lithium-ion battery than the ZS EV’s 44.5kWh pack, reducing cost and likely maximising interior space.

The EV hatch is also likely to be less powerful than the ZS EV, which produces 105kW of power and 353Nm of torque from its front-mounted electric motor. However, it’s also likely to weigh less than the 1532kg small SUV.

Range is an unknown. The ZS EV has a claimed electric range of 263km under the stricter WLTP cycle.

Should the EV light car from MG come to Australia, it won’t have much direct competition.

Renault discontinued the Zoe last year, leaving the Mini Electric as the only EV smaller than the Hyundai Ioniq Electric and Nissan Leaf.

We miss out on the Honda E and Kia Soul EV, while Volkswagen’s upcoming ID.1 and ID.2 EVs are less than certain for Australia.

The ZS EV was launched last year with a sharp price of $43,990 drive-away. For comparison, the next cheapest EV – the Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite – is priced at $48,970 before on-road costs.

At the other end of the spectrum, MG plans to launch a production version of its slinky E-Motion concept this year, which will become a halo vehicle for the brand.

Patent images were leaked last year (above), revealing the production E-Motion will have a different face reminiscent of the Jaguar F-Type or various Aston Martin models. Otherwise, it’ll look extremely similar to the concept, which debuted at the 2017 Shanghai motor show.

MG has remained tight-lipped about the production E-Motion’s technical specifications.

When MG revealed the concept, it said it used a dual-motor battery-electric powertrain, capable of propelling the coupe to 100km/h in around four seconds. Electric range was a claimed 500km.

MG’s plans to launch two EVs in the UK this year follows its introduction of the MG 5 EV there last year. Unlike the curvaceous MG 5 revealed for the Chinese market – and a possibility for Australia – the UK-market MG 5 is a rebadged Ei5 small wagon from sister brand Roewe.

It undercuts the ZS EV by £1000 (A$1776) and offers 344km of electric range but has been ruled out for Australia due to our lack of enthusiasm for wagons.

MORE: MG news and reviews

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William Stopford
William Stopford
William Stopford is a Journalist at CarExpert.
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