The MG brand is enjoying a slow but steady resurrection, under the ownership of China's SAIC, and things are about to get even more exciting with the release of the Euro-spec MG3 hatchback.
Meanwhile, MG's South African distributor, Mandarin Motors, has told us that the new Fiesta-sized hatch is set to reach our shores in the last quarter of this year.
Mandarin - a division of Combined Motor Holdings - is hoping the new five-door will help it ride a wave of expansion, which also includes two other unnamed product introductions in 2014.
Although most of the MGs are now built in China (some cars will be made in Birmingham in the UK), the company is still very much focused on its British design heritage, and to that end it has invested heavily in a European Design Centre, also based in Birmingham.
THE PERSONAL TOUCH
The new MG3 is aimed at a youthful and trendy target market and these buyers will be able to personalise both the exterior and interior of the car. In Europe it'll be offered with three trim levels, 10 colours and 10 graphic packs.
The only engine choice for now is a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre 16-valve petrol engine, credited with 77kW and mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Nothing exciting, but enough to slot it into the middle of the B segment quite comfortably, and MG has hinted that there will be more options in the long term.
What's more, MG assures us that the chassis has been honed from hundreds of thousand miles of testing on European roads, with the aim of creating a package to “engage keen drivers” while also offering a decent ride quality.
The exact South African spec levels and pricing will be revealed closer to the car's on-sale date. Could this new British-flavoured, Chinese MG be up your alley?