British brand MG wants a slice of the small crossover market and has confirmed it’ll be building a Nissan Juke rival for the job.
Due for launch in 2017, MG’s Juke is expected to take design cues from the MG Icon concept revealed at the Beijing Motor Show in 2012. That car featured clear styling links to the MGB GT of the 1960s but in a pumped-up crossover package, and was penned by Brit Tony Williams and his team at parent company’s SAIC’s HQ in Shanghai.
Speaking exclusively to Auto Express, MG’s new head of marketing told us the explosion in popularity of SUVs and crossovers has meant it’s a market MG cannot ignore. Before the new Juke rival though, MG will launch the larger CS SUV next year. It’s set to debut just after the Geneva Motor Show in March 2016 and will be MG’s first ever entrant into the hotly-contested small SUV segment dominated by the Nissan Qashqai.
It’ll measure up to compete against the larger offerings in the segment like the Kia Sportage and Honda CR-V, and more than likely be offered with a 2.0-litre diesel and a 1.8-litre petrol with two- or four-wheel drive. More importantly though, the CS will use a new scalable SUV platform developed by parent company SAIC. It means it could be scaled down in size for the Juke rival.
MG’s new focus on SUVs has come at the cost of a new MG two-seater roadster. Since the demise of the MG TF in 2010, fans have been crying out for a new sports car harking back to the MGA, MGB, MGF and TF. Cheyne told us that a new sports car would arrive in the future, but not for the next five years at least as the brand concentrates on more profitable sectors like the SUV market.
He added that with China becoming more appreciative of sports cars, MG’s parent company SAIC is warming to the idea of a new TF, but the car needs to have appeal to global markets not just the UK. The new baby crossover will form just one part of a considered product plan. By the end of 2020, MG will launch all-new versions of the MG3 and MG6 along with the two SUV crossovers. But the UK won’t be getting the VW Golf-sized MG5 due to the MG6 being repositioned to compete with the Ford Focus on price.
MG’s explorative first step into electric car motoring, the Dynamo, has also hit the buffers. Bosses seem keen on offering a simple line-up of cars powered by petrol and diesel engines rather than electric or plug-in hybrid tech while the brand is still in its early years of growth.
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