MG has backflipped on plans to introduce a bargain basement Vibe version of its HS plug-in hybrid SUV.

    The brand yesterday revealed the HS Plus EV Excite. Priced at $46,990 drive-away, it lowers its cost of entry to plug-in hybrid motoring by $1000… but it doesn’t go quite as far as expected.

    An MG spokesperson last year told CarExpert an entry-level HS Plus EV Vibe variant was coming in 2022, but the brand has since confirmed the Excite – the badge used on mid-range MG models – will now fill that role.

    “After an internal review, it was determined our product plan more closely aligned with Excite grade than with Vibe. We’re always looking at ways to improve our offerings locally,” an MG spokesperson said.

    The HS Plus EV Excite misses out on the surround-view camera, panoramic glass roof, metal pedals, LED headlights and LED ambient interior lighting from the Essence, and the leather sports seats have been subbed for cheaper faux leather units.

    That spec list aligns closely with the petrol-powered MG HS Vibe.

    MG could have stripped the Plus EV’s equipment list further and mirrored the petrol HS Core with its cloth seats, urethane steering wheel, and four-speaker sound system if it wanted to hit a lower price.

    The full MG Pilot suite of driver assists is standard on the HS Plus EV Excite, including autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

    Power comes from the same plug-in hybrid powertrain used in the Essence. It combines a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 119kW of power and 250Nm of torque with a 90kW/230Nm electric motor, mated with a 16.6kWh lithium-ion battery.

    It outputs a combined 189kW of power and 370Nm of torque, and has a claimed 63km of electric range. Claimed fuel economy is 1.7 litres per 100km, although that’s contingent on a full charge.

    Unlike a Toyota-style hybrid, plug-in hybrid vehicles combine a petrol engine with a larger lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor to offer a meaningful electric range.

    MORE: Everything MG HS

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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