Electric cars

Adventurers Ross and Hugo Turner point their MG Cyberster toward Shanghai

by Alisdair Suttie
26 October 2023 3 min read
Adventurers Ross and Hugo Turner point their MG Cyberster toward Shanghai

Celebrations of MG’s centenary have rightly focused on the British sports car firm’s many notable models. From the J2 through the T-series cars, from the A, the B, and beyond, there have been marque gatherings all over the world to mark this 100-year milestone for MG. Just such an event took place recently at the Doune Hillclimb in Scotland, but there was a very different MG interloper among the polished veterans this time round, and it took the shape of the all-new Cyberster.

The EV roadster brings back open-top sports car thrills to the MG name, and it’s the first convertible in the company’s range since the last TF rolled off the line 12 years back. What made the appearance of the Cyberster at Scotland’s notoriously tricky hillclimb venue all the more intriguing was the fact it was no mere static display. This Cyberster was there as part of its 10,000-mile adventure from London to Shanghai to reinvent the Silk Road route.

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MG Cyberster

For such an epic drive, you need drivers of equal derring-do, which is where adventurer twins Hugo and Ross Turner come into the picture. They have rowed across the Atlantic and traversed the Greenland ice sheet, so a drive halfway around the world in an EV sports car is right up their race track.

Having driven up from London in the Cyberster, the pair took the MG up the 1350-metre course at Doune, which is known as ‘The King of the Hills’ for its closely packed sections and 1-in-3 ascent at East Brae. Plenty of the classic MG brigade were keen to see how the Cyberster faired – and to get a good look at the car ahead of its official launch in the summer of 2024. Capable of 0–62mph in 3.8 seconds, the Cyberster was well up to the task of heading up the hill at Doune.

Afterwards, the Devon-born Turner twins told us what made them decide on this marathon drive from the UK to China: “The MG Cyberster is the world’s first two-seater fully convertible electric vehicle, and there’s two of us, so it made sense. Also, apart from the car being a pioneer itself, it coincides with MG’s 100th anniversary, so it’s a fitting expedition.”

Along the way, the brothers intend to explore each country they visit and learn more about the technology that is transforming the world to be more environmentally friendly. There are more basic travel thrills, too. As Hugo said, they are looking forward to ‘finding those little moments in big landscapes and countries. Those moments where a smell, a song, a particular feel or mood can be remembered. Then, years later, that stimulus might trigger that exact same memory in a totally different country.’

MG Cyberster

The route will take them through every type of landscape imaginable as it crosses through Europe, the Middle East, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines, before arriving in China in May 2024. Most people would only consider such a lengthy trip in a 4×4, but this is part of the allure for the Turners. “We want to be the first people to drive an electric vehicle from London to Shanghai via the route we’re taking,” Ross said. “We hope that this journey will inspire those who are thinking about buying an electric vehicle to realise that you can do so much more with them than most people think is possible.”

Neither underestimates the challenge that lies ahead, even if it doesn’t come with the physical endurance of rowing or trekking. “Driving 10,000 miles is totally different to rowing the Atlantic or being on an ice cap,” said Hugo. “With each of those expeditions we were dealing with one type of environment. This drive will cover multiple environments, with a range of variable dangers, over a vastly longer timeframe. All our expeditions share a pioneering spirit, pushing the boundaries of what science and technology can allow us to do, but also proving that emission-free expeditions and adventures are possible.”

Ross and Hugo Turner
Adventurers Ross (left) and Hugo Turner ahead of their 10,000-mile EV journey.

When asked who would be doing the bulk of the driving, Ross simply smiled. “Difficult to say. I’ve only ever been caught speeding once, and I believe Hugo’s been done a couple more times than me. So, through that measure, it would be me. However, the adventure only starts when things begin to go wrong or off plan.”

Follow their exploits at chargingintothefuture.com.

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