The MG EXE181 is looking backwards, as the growing Chinese-owned brand with a British heritage charges forward into a future full of electric cars.

    Overnight MG took to Chinese social network Weibo to preview the EXE181 concept car it’ll unveil at this week’s 2024 Beijing motor show.

    Like the 1950s EX181 it is named after, the EXE181 achieves great speed and eye-popping acceleration from its aerodynamic design.

    Launched in 1957, the rain-drop shaped EX181 had an astounding drag coefficient of just 0.12.

    Not only is the 57 year-old car slipperier than today’s EXE181, which has a coefficient of drag of 0.181, but also the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQXX concept (0.18).

    The EX181 revealed in 1957 is powered by a supercharged 1.5-litre engine making 216kW (290hp). A few years later the engine’s capacity was increased ever-so-slightly, and power was boosted to 224kW (300hp).

    In the hands of American racer Phil Hill the EX181 hit a top speed of 410.23km/h, making it the fastest ever factory-backed MG, a title it holds to this day.

    Details about the EXE181 are scarce for now. We don’t know, for instance, specifics about the drivetrain, total power output, range, or its top speed.

    MG says the EXE181 is capable of completing the 0-100km/h dash in 1.91 seconds, and the car will “challenge” for a land speed record. It’s unclear when or where this will be undertaken, and which record the company is aiming for.

    From the images we can see the EXE181 is a tear-drop shaped one-seater vehicle with a long tail. Hidden somewhere under the bodywork are two parachutes to help slow the car down.

    In the snug-fitting cabin is a squared-off steering wheel with a screen and controls in the centre. The images provided by MG indicate the EXE181 has four electric motors, one for each wheel.

    Hopefully MG will release more details about the car when it’s revealed in the flesh later this week at the Beijing motor show.

    Derek Fung

    Derek Fung would love to tell you about his multiple degrees, but he's too busy writing up some news right now. In his spare time Derek loves chasing automotive rabbits down the hole. Based in New York, New York, Derek loves to travel and is very much a window not an aisle person.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers