Photos of a camouflaged version of MG’s upcoming electric hatchback have been shared across Chinese media.

    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.

    The 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 Cat from rival Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors.

    These photos shared on Sohu, among other sites, show the hatchback appears to draw some inspiration from the Cyberster electric convertible concept, particularly with its aggressive front bumper treatment.

    It has a conventional though handsome hatchback silhouette, and the spy photos also reveal the hatchback uses independent rear suspension.

    Chinese reports suggest a petrol version could also be offered to replace the dated MG 3, which has now been in production for just over a decade.

    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.

    We’re getting a different MG 5 in Australia, a sleeker and more modern-looking sedan albeit with an internal combustion engine. It’s due here this year.

    An updated ZS EV is also due here in the second half of this year, with freshened styling, more range, vehicle-to-load capability, and app-based cabin pre-conditioning.

    The range will also expand to comprise both Standard Range and Long Range models, the former with 51kWh of energy content from its battery and 320km of range, and the latter with 72kWh and 440km.

    They now handle three-phase 11kW home AC charging, and faster DC charging rates so they’re quicker to refill on the move – 40 minutes to 80 per cent is the claim. The battery packs are liquid-cooled as before.

    The drive motor outputs are 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.

    MORE: Everything MG 3

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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