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New MG concept is a “Cyber” attack on Tesla (Update)

by Nik Berg
9 April 2021 2 min read
New MG concept is a “Cyber” attack on Tesla (Update)
Photos: MG

Is MG ready to bring drivers a new generation of roadster for the electric age? China’s SAIC-owned MG has dropped serious hints it is contemplating a return to its roots, unveiling its Cyberster, a concept for a high-performance electric sports car – and the brand has just revealed photos of the concept in addition to the renders released last week.

Apart from its two-seater open-topped layout the only feature that MG fans may recognise from the brand’s storied past are the round headlights. However, even these are innovative interactive units called “Magic Eyes” which open when the car is switched on. The Cyberster also gets a so-called “Laser Belt” LED strip that runs the length of the car and follows the outline of the door. Imagine a four-door Tron light cycle and you won’t be far off.

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The overall design is very current (electric car pun intended) featuring a long, low nose with a deep front splitter, a high waistline, and compact cabin, stepping up to a high rear deck with twin speed humps/rollover hoops. The cabin has what MG is calling a “digital fibre” design and separates the driver from the passenger, while there’s also an LED instrument cluster.

The rear lights appear to feature arrow-style turn signals, based on the Union Jack flag. Mini isn’t the only company with designers that like to nod to a brand’s British heritage.

However, it won’t be Mini that MG is gunning for with the Cyberster. The company has yet to reveal the car’s battery capacity or motor output, but it has said that it will accelerate from 0-62 mph in under three seconds and cover 500 miles on a single charge. That pits it against the Tesla Roadster and perhaps even the likes of the LotusPininfarina, and Rimac. Presumably at a fraction of the price as well.

MG hasn’t offered a sporty two-seater since the MG F/TF went out of production in 2011, having introduced it some 16 years earlier. Instead since its rebirth under Chinese ownership the company has concentrated on affordable family-focused vehicles and EVs, selling across much of the world.

Its modern range in the UK is a far cry from even its last gasp run of sporty family cars in the early 2000s, comprising the MG3 supermini, MG5 electric estate car, and petrol and electric variants of the ZS crossover.

The brand clearly still understands its more exciting heritage. “Sports cars are the lifeblood of the MG DNA and Cyberster is a hugely exciting concept for us,” says. Carl Gotham, Director of SAIC’s advanced design studio in London.

Whether MG will act upon the concept is another matter. Those that follow the company’s progress may remember MG launching a similarly sleek concept in Shanghai back in 2017, dubbed the E-Motion. This took the form of a two-door, four-seat fastback coupé – a modern-day MGB GT, if you will – with a range of around 300 miles and the potential to accelerate from 0-60mph in less than four seconds.

For many, the marque’s return to the roadster will be an enticing prospect, even if it won’t quite hit the mass market appeal that the MGF achieved in the 1990s. If you’d like to see the company move in such a direction, let us know in the comments, below.

Read more

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Comments

  • Pierre Noir says:

    Sorry, the roadster looks cheap and tacky; the name is awful, too. No sleepless nights for Tesla, if that was the intention.

    The E-Motion looks more plausible, but even that resembles a hastily-designed Jaguar knock-off IMO.

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