Following the death of the MG TF in 2011, a new MG roadster seemed unlikely under its new Chinese owners. The marque is better known nowadays for its crossovers and MG5 electric estate car, its historic Abingdon and Longbridge homes demolished after the collapse of MG Rover in 2005.
In recent years however, MG’s parent, SAIC Motor, began to preview sportier battery-powered concept vehicles. First came the E Motion coupe, then the rakish Cyberster convertible, shown at the 2017 and 2021 Shanghai Motor Shows, respectively.
MG has been gauging reaction to the Cyberster, for which it claims to have received more than 5000 “statements of interest” from potential buyers. Apparently, that’s enough for MG to give it the green light, at least if a new series of patent images are any indication.
Toned down from the concept, images show a two-seat convertible with a folding roof. A proper roadster, in other words, the likes of which few companies outside of the premium marques give much attention these days – Mazda’s MX-5, reviewed here, is currently your lot.
It’s a modern, grown-up shape too, if perhaps a little derivative – we see a hint of the MX-5 and the current BMW Z4 in there, and some busy-looking details. The concept’s Union flag clusters become elongated, now more closely resembling opposed arrow heads. At least the Cyberster has a shape to call its own, unlike the battery-powered Mini rip-off from Beijing Estech that roused BMW Group to consider legal action, earlier this year.
Part of the plan is to launch a youth-orientated ‘Cyber’ sub-brand of MG. That will rely on the right mix of pricing and performance, neither of which are known at the present time – though last year’s concept touted a sub-3 second 0-60 time, and a 497-mile range from a new generation of battery hardware.
No internal combustion engine options have been listed, leaving the last generation of MG TF – of which a few thousand were built in Pukou, China and a temporarily revived Longbridge assembly line between 2007 and 2011 – the last of a long legacy of petrol engined MG sports cars.