Anglo-Chinese car maker MG is working on an electric rival for the Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen ID.3 hatchbacks, due later this year – here’s everything we know so far, and how it will look.
Chinese-owned British brand MG has begun to establish itself in the affordable electric car market with the MG ZS EV small SUV – and now it’s gunning for the small car segment, with a new electric hatchback set to be badged the 2023 MG 4.
First spotted testing in Europe and China earlier this year, MG’s new electric car will target the Nissan Leaf, upcoming Cupra Born, not-for-Australia Volkswagen ID.3 and other battery-powered small cars – as well its smaller Chinese EV compatriots, the Australia-bound Ora Good Cat and BYD Dolphin (Atto 1/2).
The name it will carry to showrooms is yet to be confirmed – though official clues and leaked presentations published so far indicate it may be badged MG 4 in the UK and Europe, or CyberE in China, the latter establishing a new four-model Cyber electric vehicle sub-brand.
Either way, the new MG 4 (or CyberE) has been confirmed for a “European premiere” – the market for which it has been designed – in the last three months of 2022, suggesting first overseas showroom arrivals in late 2022 or early 2023.
While prototypes spied testing continue to clothe specific styling details with camouflage, patent filings and teaser images provide a strong indication of what the MG 4 will look like – so we tasked resident Photoshop guru Theophilus Chin with stripping what disguise is left, and adding colour to the aforementioned patents.
The reported CyberE name appears to be more than just marketing speak, with resemblances to the Cyberster sports car concept (from which the name is derived) seen in the front air intake – though the rest of the body is typical small car fare, with five doors, sensible 17-inch wheels, and LED lights.
The patents reveal stripe-like indentations in the front bumper and lower door trims – finished in dark grey in the teaser, or white in our render – matching the sporting credentials of the front ‘bonnet’ vent and dual-piece rear spoiler.
MG is yet to tease the new car’s interior, however spy photos out of China show a tablet-style ‘floating’ infotainment touchscreen, a digital instrument display, rotary dial-type gear selector, an unconventional ‘truncated’ steering wheel, and leather-trimmed sports seats.
Few technical details have been confirmed – however MG Europe has announced the MG 4 will measure 4300mm long, making it 22mm shorter than an Australia-bound Cupra Born electric hatch, and 65mm longer than an Ora Good Cat, though a fair amount shorter than a Nissan Leaf.
Australia’s best-selling small car, the Toyota Corolla, measures 4375mm from nose to tail in five-door hatchback form.
While powertrain details are yet to be revealed, the MG 4 may borrow from the facelifted ZS EV small SUV, available in Standard Range form with a 51kWh battery, 130kW electric motor and 320km of range, or the Long Range with a 72kWh battery, 115kW motor and 440km claimed range.
The same electric motors are available in the MG 5 Electric wagon sold in Europe, paired to 50.3kWh and 61.1kWh battery packs for claimed ranges of up to 320km and 400km respectively (with smaller 16-inch wheels).
Rumours and spy photos claim the MG 4 will employ independent rear suspension – akin to a Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus or Toyota Corolla – and offer support for Level 3 semi-autonomous driving and 5G mobile connectivity.
The 2023 MG 4 will have its “European premiere” in the fourth quarter of 2022 (October to December) – however it may be previewed as soon as April by a concept car, due for reveal at the Beijing motor show, according to an Autocar report earlier this year.
The MG 4 is yet to be confirmed for Australia, with a spokesperson for the company’s local arm telling Drive: “We’re excited about the new model, and will look to see what our colleagues in other markets do.”
While the new car’s name is yet to be officially confirmed, a URL in the official teaser released by MG UK hints the car will wear the ‘MG 4’ name in Europe – slotting it between the existing, petrol-powered MG 3 city car, and the larger MG 5 Electric wagon offered on the Continent.
In China, a leaked presentation suggests MG is plotting a ‘Cyber’ electric vehicle sub-brand, with the new electric hatchback to wear the CyberE name – alongside CyberS and CyberX SUVs, and a production version of the Cyberster sports car concept.
It’s also worth noting the number ‘4’ is considered to be unlucky in China, as it sounds similar to the word ‘death’ – further evidence pointing to the use of the ‘MG 4’ name in export markets only.
The post 2023 MG 4 electric hatchback imagined: Everything we know so far appeared first on Drive.
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