- MG Motor, the British sports car brand now owned by China's SAIC, plans to produce a new sports car, but it's "six to eight years away," according to Guy Jones, MG's United Kingdom sales and marketing director.
- Jones said the new sports car is in the company's product plan, but won't be seriously considered until the next generation of MG models is launched on an all-new platform.
- MG tells Edmunds "America is not on our radar right now."
LONDON — MG Motor, the British sports car brand now owned by China's SAIC, plans to produce a new sports car, but it's "six to eight years away," according to Guy Jones, MG's United Kingdom sales and marketing director.
Speaking at this week's unveiling of the brand's European-specification MG3 supermini car, Jones said that a new sports car was in MG's product plan, although it will not be seriously considered until the next generation of MG models is launched on a newly developed vehicle architecture.
The company will complete the cycle of its first-generation models with the launch of the MG CS crossover in 2015. The sharp-looking CS was recently unveiled in concept form at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show, and is said to be "very close" to the production version.
The first of the new generation of models — likely a replacement for the midsize MG6 — should appear shortly after that, perhaps in 2016, which means that a new MG sports car will not be a possibility until toward the end of this decade or early into the next.
But the two-seater MG has remained alive in that it is now a definite part of the overall product plan. Previously, when MG talked about this car, it has only been on the wish list. There's no word yet on whether it will be available in the U.S.
"America is not on our radar right now," said SAIC Design Director Anthony Williams-Kenny.
MG, however, is SAIC's global brand, and being a global company ultimately means competing in the United States.
When and if a U.S. launch comes it will almost certainly be with vehicles developed from SAIC's second-generation platform architecture, which is being developed at SAIC's 400-strong Birmingham engineering center in the U.K. Jones says that the company is developing an all-new flexible vehicle architecture "to compete with Volkswagen's MQB and others." SAIC unveiled an expanded U.K. design center this week: the facility doubled in size and has the scope to develop four full-size clay models simultaneously.
Edmunds says: A new MG sports cars would cement SAIC's rejuvenation of MG, especially if the marque returns to the U.S. But that's long way off.