Iconic British badge returns to SA

Published Aug 18, 2011


Six years after the spectacular implosion of this once-proud British sports-car builder, MG is back, albeit with a strong oriental flavour.

What was left of Morris Garages, founded in 1924 by Cecil Kimber, wound up as part of Shanghai Automobile Industry Corporation, including the historic Longbridge plant.

SAIC set up a new design studio and engineering plant on the old site, to focus on European, and more specifically British, styling and design.

They created the first all-new MG in 16 years - and now that car will be coming to South Africa.

Combined Motor Holdings has been appointed the SA distributor for MG and will re-launch the brand at this year's Johannesburg motor show, from October 6-16, with the South African release of the MG6 four-door.

The new Six is a distinctively-styled fastback with a long, swooping roofline and no rear deck to speak of, its glassed area set well back over a short front and longer rear overhang.

It has a 1.8-litre, turbocharged, four-cylinder petrol engine for which the maker quotes 118kW at a relatively conservative 5500rpm, and which meets EU5 emissions standards, driving the front wheels through a five-speed manual 'box.

As is to be expected from an oriental newcomer, it has an impressive list of electronic wizardry but, unusually for a oriental newcomer, it also holds a five-star Euro NCAP rating.

MG South Africa will be represented by 15 dealers nationwide when the brand goes live in October and is planning to launch at least another four models in the medium term.

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