Remember the MG Cyberster concept from last year? If not universally loved by PHers - ‘Yuck! No thank you’ was the fifth comment - the Cyberster did show an interesting change of tact for MG. Because while electric and electrified SUVs can sell in big numbers (and, relatively speaking, MG’s offerings seem to do alright), a sports car can work wonders for brand perception. Especially if, as the original press release claimed, the Cyberster would do 500 miles on a charge and hit 60mph in three seconds. Plus that famous octagonal badge has plenty of sports car heritage to trade on…
That’s exactly what MG is aiming at with this latest teaser for its new sports car, a social media preview titled ‘Return of the legend’. So a familiar nameplate seems likely, be that B, C, TF or similar. Encouragingly, too, there’s plenty to be seen in this latest car to make it as dramatic as the concept. See the scissor doors, rear light bar, big wheels and yoke steering wheel for the two-seat cabin. Plus, of course, rather more Union Jack references than is really comfortable.
The production model is expected to share its underpinnings with the MG 4 hatch, due later this year as the first car on SAIC’s new Modular Scalable Platform. And while its initial application isn’t exactly sporting, there’s plenty about the platform - 50:50 weight distribution, a slim battery to drop the driver and the centre of gravity lower - that bodes well for a two-seater. Furthermore, though the 4 is only expected to be offered with either a 51kWh/169hp or 64kWh/204hp powertrain, the Cyberster is likely to use the more powerful of those two RWD setups as well as a dual-motor, four-wheel drive arrangement. Which would certainly ensure sports car performance, though quite where the 500 miles of range comes from isn’t clear yet.
Anyway, let’s not be down on the Cyberster just yet. We’ve been clamouring for an interesting and engaging electric vehicle, one designed for enthusiasts but without the £2m price tag, for ages, and it looks like MG might just be the one to deliver it first. With the 4 due by the end of this year, whatever the Cyberster becomes is set for a launch in 2023. It already looks like an EV to be intrigued by.