MG Motor Considering Roadster, US Market In Long-Term Plans

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

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.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on May 27, 2014

    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.

  • RHD RHD on May 27, 2014

    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.

    • Vulpine Vulpine on May 28, 2014

      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.

  • Oldyak Oldyak on May 28, 2014

    How about calling it the 'MG" Jute

  • Oldyak Oldyak on May 28, 2014

    How about calling it the 'MG" Juke.....or joke! What a mess....