MG Motor has unveiled an electric roadster, its first departure from the family-oriented vehicles it has sold for the past 16 years since being acquired by Chinese investors.
According to Guy Pigounakis, commercial director for MG Motor UK Ltd., the two-seater Cyberster, which draws inspiration from the brand’s 1960s design classics such as the MG Midget and MGB, will make its debut in China in 2023 before arriving in the UK and Europe in the middle of next year.
With a starting price of £50,000 ($63,300), the vehicle is essential to MG’s objective to capitalize on the British heritage of the brand.
“The brand is returning to its roots,” said MG’s design director Carl Gotham. The two-seater sportscar with scissor doors will be a “brand builder,” rather than a mass-market seller.
One of the first Chinese-owned EV manufacturers to enter Europe was MG.
MG has embraced the transition to electric vehicles, becoming one of the earliest Chinese automakers to enter the European market. Pigounakis reports that so far this year, sales of 25,000 vehicles in the United Kingdom are 55% higher than the same period last year, and that this rate is being “surpassed” in continental Europe.
The growth is attributable in part to MG’s success in keeping prices low, a feat that has eluded many European EV manufacturers, allowing it to compete with Tesla Inc. Its electric SUV, the MG ZS EV, costs approximately £30,495.
After being acquired by the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation in 2007, the introduction of the Cyberster is a significant moment for MG’s appeal to its British roots. While MG maintains design facilities in the United Kingdom, it has not produced automobiles there since 2016 when it closed its Longbridge plant near Birmingham.