MG, which will mark its 100th anniversary in 2024, intends to debut a production sportscar to complement its SUV-focused model range, harkening back to the brand’s heritage. The new concept will help MG connect to a younger audience while also reinvigorating interest in the company’s historic name. The MG Cyberster concept, shown at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show, drew a positive response from 5,000 potential purchasers, prompting the proposal to be approved for manufacturing. According to Autocar, the production model of the EV will be introduced in 2024 as part of MG’s centenary celebrations, with official statements hinting at a low price.
The release of new cars will be vital to achieving this goal. The MG 5 SW EV estate and ZS EV crossover are already among Europe’s most popular electric vehicles, and MG will look to build on this success by appealing to younger drivers and enthusiasts with an all-new Cyber product line, named after its five primary priorities: co-creating, young, beyond, evolution, and recreation.
Last year, the Cyberster concept – an electric roadster that pays homage to MG’s legacy as a British sports car maker – was unveiled, previewing the technical capabilities and functionality of the company’s future vehicles.
Following the Shanghai motor show, manufacturing of the Cyberster was permitted as a consequence of a successful crowdfunding effort in which over 5000 prospective purchasers signed up to MG’s interactive Cybercube platform, allowing them to inform the development of the production car. It will now be released as part of MG’s centennial celebrations.
While no official date has been announced, a spokeswoman stated, “We are working on a surprise for you guys.” Of course, we know we used to be the budget sports car brand, but now we’re the new electric vehicle brand, and we’re going to surprise you. We will enter markets where no one has gone before.” These statements could be a hint at a low-cost, all-electric two-seater roadster to compete with comparable sized ICE-powered versions like the Mazda Miata / MX-5. The progression of the Toyota GR Sports EV concept, planned as the spiritual successor to the MR2, would be a direct competitor. Similarly, the production version of the Cyberster idea would be a successor for the defunct TF, MG’s last sportscar.
Indeed, no mainstream brand has yet introduced a low-cost convertible electric sports car. While some of the concept’s more bizarre features will be dropped, MG’s UK design boss, Carl Gotham, hinted that a toned-down version will be available in dealerships, calling it “a bold statement that looks strongly into MG’s future, touching on our heritage but more importantly building on our cutting-edge technology and advanced design.”
Aside from its style, the Cyberster represents MG’s shift in focus with its new EV lineup. “Sports cars are the lifeblood of the MG DNA, and the Cyberster is a tremendously exciting concept for us,” Gotham said, implying that now that MG has established itself with mainstream vehicles, it can afford to branch out into new markets. Nonetheless, despite patents filed in 2020 showcasing a supposedly road-ready design, the 2017 E-Motion sports coupé idea has yet to see production.
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The Cyberster is built on an entirely new platform based on the 2017 E-Motion coupé concept, which is expected to become a production car with a ‘cell-to-pack’ battery that eliminates the conventional module structure used by current EVs in the name of increased production efficiency and power density. It is supposed to have a range of 800km (497 miles). A single motor, probably located at the rear and employing the same efficiency-boosting ‘hairpin’ wiring technology as the ZS EV, provides a sub-3.0sec 0-62mph performance. Naturally, futuristic lighting units, jutting aero components, enormous wheels, and a tech-filled cabin will be toned down for production. Similarly, the concept’s promised 800 km (497 miles) range and sub-3 second 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint appear unlikely to be realized by an inexpensive EV and overly optimistic for the segment.
MG was bought out by Chinese conglomerate SAIC 16 years ago, resulting in the brand’s sluggish comeback to global markets. MG’s new era has been somewhat successful, with the business aiming to reach a million-sale milestone in 100 global locations by 2024. Because Cyberster’s launch is still two years away, it has time to optimize its design and manufacturing costs. Electric vehicles are also expected to grow more affordable over time, suggesting that a mass-market all-electric sports car may not be so far-fetched. We’ll have to wait for more MG news for the time being.