By on May 27, 2014

MG Icon

The last time MG sold roadsters in the United States, Jimmy Carter was President, ABSCAM (minus the efforts of Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper) entered its final phase, and CNN had newsreaders instead of “news VJs.” Should the Sino-British brand be able to assemble a roadster worthy of those 1960s and 1970s classics, however, a new MGB might board a container ship bound for the U.S. in the future.

Edmunds reports exploratory design work for a sports car under the MG name has been placed on the 2014 schedule book in SAIC’s Shanghai design studio, with one of the possibly proposals being a roadster such as those in the brand’s history, as well as the spiritual successor found in the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The starting point for whatever is drawn up is the 2012 MG Icon concept.

In the meantime, MG Motor is looking to design and produce a wider mainstream collection, with design and engineering split between Shanghai and Birmingham, England. Eventually, this could lead to a return to the U.S. market, which is considered a long-term goal for the brand and its owner.

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40 Comments on “MG Motor Considering Roadster, US Market In Long-Term Plans...”


  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    So I guess the “build MGs in Oklahoma” thing didn’t work out. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/12/business/worldbusiness/12auto.html?_r=0

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Sounds interesting, I would welcome another MG roadster to our shores. I’m not sure they could get past boutique sports car phase though and would occupy the same position as Mini and Fiat does currently.

  • avatar
    RetroGrouch

    What could an MG do better than the Miata? Mazda has set the bar pretty high for the Brits (and Italians) if they want to re-enter the roadster market. Mini has the sporty British car with traditional British quality market. What is left for MG?

  • avatar
    Battles

    MG is still engaged in a very difficult return to the UK market, which they’re making look very difficult.
    At the moment, they occupy the “hire car you take when the only alternative is a van” segment.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Just read about a guy who had a MG Rover in Hemmings. Brought it into the US from Canada. Was a expensive car when new. Glad to see the dream is still alive.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    Anyone with a warm spot in their heart for the MG’s of old will be repulsed by something derived from the 2012 MG Icon concept. There’s nothing sleek or sporty about it, rather it’s another butched up design with gunslit windows for the urban warrior. Mazda will have nothing to fear.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Should the Cino-British brand”

    FYI I believe it is “Sino”, not “Cino”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino

  • avatar
    wmba

    Well, SAIC is prone to say anything when it comes to their ownership of the MG trademark, and do precious little. They claim to assemble the MG 6 in the UK, and have a supposed 300 people in their UK design “centre”. Assembly consists of knocking together cars with random bits sent from China. They sell fewer than a thousand cars a year in the UK despite a reputed $650 million investment. Only gormless twits buy them and then complain loudly about the lack of spare parts when the inevitable failures occur.

    SAIC seem to be using the UK to establish street cred back home among people who also do not read easily accessible information on the internet but are impressed by glossy brochures.

    Of course, on a daily basis, SAIC sells the super cheap Wuling van in partnership with GM, and a load of VWs in partnership with Ferdy Piech.

    SAIC appears to be a company in a rush to get nowhere with their own designs

    • 0 avatar

      What makes you think that every tom dick and harry that buys an MG is a twit to be honest you are properly a bigger twit because you a big fat sweeping accusation which was wrong frankly and you are wrong because there is no lack of spares so you are a twit.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Maybe I’m too quick to judge, and I’ve only looked at a few pictures, but it looks subtantialy heavier to me than the one that everyone loves to remember.
    That and the ugly cheap plastic front end are a turn off, but maybe the bar was set too high by the design of the MG of yore?

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      My guess, significantly heavier than the originals, but would still be on the light side of the market. I would call it somewhere lighter than a Miata but heavier than a Mirage. 2200-2300lbs maybe?

  • avatar
    mcs

    Here’s MINI’s latest roadster exercise:

    http://www.gizmag.com/mini-superleggera-vision-concept/32240/

    If they built it out of CFRP with a turbo version of the triple, it would be interesting. The weight might be close to the original 1960s British Roadsters.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    We have a bunch of oldsters with extra cash that would like to get a reliable MG. So, this might work.

    I just don’t see this car for anyone between the ages of 30-60. You can’t have a family larger than a dog.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      You’d be surprised how many people in that age group that do own a MINI. There are two of them in my own neighborhood. My wife loves them–then again, she also likes the Fiat 500 Abarth. Personally however, neither of us likes the looks of the MG above.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Not all of us between the ages of 30 and 60 have families. I’m 45 and have a cat. And a garage full of interesting cars.

      Not having children is becoming more and more common.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    If we’re talking fwd, don’t even bother. But if we are, make it mid engine, similar to how the MR2 and Fiero were Corolla and Citation platforms.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      The Fiero was NOT a Citation platform; it was a channel chassis almost completely unique to the Pontiac.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The assembly of the Fiero was also very unique. I remember going to the Pontiac Assembly plant and seeing the process. It was when they were on some of the last units (August of 1988). The milling and drilling of the space frames is still amazing to me.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Oooh, that was when they’d finally fixed all the issues and actually had a good car in the Fiero. Too bad the first two years killed it, because that was a bloomin’ nice car.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Fiero will always be what could have been. In a way, it mirrors GM. I remember going to all those refreshed and retooled auto plants in Flint and Pontiac in the late 80s and especially the early 90s (my father’s company poured the concrete floors for many GM plants). There was so much promise and hope for better things after a tough decade, but the loses continued and plants still closed.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The engine/trans/suspension and the cradle that holds everything together was pure Citation. Even if Space Age, the rest was just along for the ride.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Better do some research, DM. You’re 99% wrong here. You’re thinking of the J-body Firenza–a completely different car.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Maybe it was more Calais than either. But one thing GM has always excelled at manufacturing is names for $H!T cars. Not the Fiero though.

            GM could have hit a homerun with the Fiero, but GM is GM.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Yeah. A $400 mill budget to introduce an all-new platform wasn’t exactly standard procedure back then; the designers were expecting from 4x to 5x that amount.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It doesn’t look like MG will be building anything sporty or RWD to base a roadster or spider on. So since a dedicated chassis is out of the question, a mid engine, 2 seater seems like the best solution. At least for me.

    • 0 avatar
      sitting@home

      The last “real” MG was the mid-90′s, mid-engined MGF which BMW refused to release in the US because it might show up their more lucrative Z3.

      Since the Nanjing/SAIC takeover, MG has been serving up nothing but warmed up rehashes based on that MGF and the equally ancient Rover 75 both of which are about as palatable today as coffee that has been left on the warmer for a similar length of time.

  • avatar
    fishiftstick

    Yeah, so maybe they’ll design a car. If so, they might decide to build it. If so, they might decide to import it. Pardon me for not getting excited yet.
    And say that happens, and it is a serious Miata competitor. Anybody else see a problem with sustaining a dealer infrastructure for a 2-seat roadster?

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    The MG Icon on the Edmunds link looks nothing like a roadster, more like a small CUV Mini Paceman or dare I say shrunken Murano convertible.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Who is empowering 12-year-old Korean boys with absent fathers to style so many of the new vehicles in the world?

    That’s all I want to know.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    A roadster for the US market should have been the number one goal when they bought the marque. I suppose it’s fortunate that it took this long. They might have set themselves back by putting out a 2-seater equivalent of a Hyundai Excel, or even worse, a Yugo.

    They should now be looking not only at a MG roadster (no Lucas electrics, please) and follow the Morris Minor/Major example with a sporty compact and a “saloon”. Those three models, continuously refined over the next half-decade, should help them re-establish the brand on a solid base.

  • avatar
    RHD

    The only way Americans will accept Chinese cars are if they out-Hyundai Hyundai. From what we have seen of Chinese cars, they are shiny, but deficient in all other qualities.
    For MG to be successful, the new roadster would have to be faster, more economical, dependable, have better handling, comfort, durability and build quality than the Miata.
    We’re more likely to see a cross between a Juke and a Murano convertible, with the durability of a Vega, the handling of a Chevette, the acceleration of an old VW Beetle and the build quality of a Lada.
    They will certainly come with a fresh set of 225/35R20 Hangzhou Zhongce tires, though.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Americans would buy it if it looked nearly as good as the Miata, handled nearly as well, and did everything else almost as good–and cost 25% less.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    How about calling it the ‘MG” Jute

  • avatar
    oldyak

    How about calling it the ‘MG” Juke…..or joke!
    What a mess….


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