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MG Mulan EV hatch firms for 2023 Australian launch

The MG Mulan is being weighed for an Australian launch, but don't expect to see the electric hatch here any time before the second half of 2023.

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The electric MG Mulan has been developed with global markets in mind, and it could touch down in Australia within a year.

“We are currently reviewing the MG Mulan for the Australian market and exploring different variants,” said a spokesperson for MG Australia.

“It is unlikely that we will see this model before H1 2023.”

Car News China reports it’ll offer a single rear-mounted electric motor producing 150kW of power, according to a Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology filing.

Inf.news reports there’ll also be a 125kW electric motor available.

The Mulan will reportedly get a choice of 51kWh and 64kWh batteries, the former a lithium iron phosphate pack and the other a ternary lithium pack.

Three different ranges will be available – 400km, 500km and 600km – though it’s possible these figures are based on the more generous CLTC test cycle.

It’ll offer what MG calls “LBS recumbent cells”, battery cells that promise higher energy density but allow for a slimmer pack to maximise cabin space.

The company claims a 0-100km/h time of 3.8 seconds, though this is likely for a dual-motor all-wheel drive variant.

It’ll measure 4287mm long on a 2705mm wheelbase. In contrast, a Cupra Born – due here early in 2023 – measures 4322mm long on a 2765mm wheelbase.

MG claims a 50/50 weight distribution, a 5.3m turning radius and a low centre of gravity for the Mulan, with five-link suspension employed at the rear.

The company also says the Mulan has been designed to receive a five-star Euro NCAP rating.

The Mulan is the first MG to use parent company SAIC Motor’s new Nebula architecture, designed for sedans, SUVs, people movers and sports cars and capable of supporting a wheelbase up to 3m long.

It’ll reportedly have a base price below 200,000 RMB (A$42,618) in China. It’s also been confirmed for a launch in Europe and the UK, with the right-hand drive UK-market version set to be revealed in the fourth quarter of this year.

For reference, the only electric vehicle MG currently sells in Australia – the ZS EV – is priced from $46,990 drive-away in updated form.

The Mulan has a much more aggressive look than the ZS EV.

There’s a rather menacing prow, where a sharply-creased bonnet meets a set of angular headlights, while the front bumper features aggressive cutouts with vertical air intakes.

The sides feature some sharp creases, including a horizontal line that runs from the headlights to the rear door, and another line that curves up from the boomerang-shaped tail lights.

The Mulan will offer a glass roof and brightly-coloured brake callipers, while down back there’s an expansive lighting assembly and a sporty two-part rear spoiler.

Interior photos haven’t been released, however if you peer through the glass you can see what appears to be a tablet-style infotainment system.

The Mulan could wear the MG 4 nameplate outside of China. That would slot it between the ageing MG 3 city car, and the two different MG 5s: the rebadged Roewe ei5 electric wagon in Europe, and the sleeker petrol-powered sedan in Asia and soon Australia.

In addition to the Mulan, MG is reportedly working on a pair of electric SUVs plus a production version of the Cyberster concept, the latter of which was revealed last week in a patent filing.

The Cyberster is reportedly set for a 2024 launch.

Though MG sells only one electric vehicle in Australia – the ZS EV – the Chinese-owned brand was the second biggest seller of EVs locally in 2021, behind only Tesla.

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William Stopford
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 (remember that?), briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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