MG Brings Concept EV to UK, Gets Rave Reviews

Earlier this year, Chinese-owned MG Motor unveiled the first official MG electric car in its 90-year history. Called the MG concept EV, the all-electric mini car looks a little like the cross between a Nissan LEAF and a Toyota Aygo, and was said by MG at the time to “fully understand European market demand for a small, electric MG.”

Last weekend, as part of MG’s 90th birthday celebrations, the MG concept EV was on display at Silverstone race track in the UK, where it was officered as one of many cars for MG enthusiasts to try out.

The MG Concept EV is based on the Roewe E50 EV.

The MG Concept EV is based on the Roewe E50 EV.

Sadly, we didn’t make it to Silverstone this weekend, but our friends over at Autocar did, calling the MG EV “an accomplished city car already,” despite being in a non-finished state. While we don’t ordinarily cover other people’s test drive reports, we think this one is worthy of a mention.

Based on the Chinese-market Roewe E50 electric car, the MG concept EV clearly targets a market occupied by cars like the Volkswagen e-Up and Renault ZOE. Fitted with a 53 kilowatt electric motor, the MG concept EV has a 0-62 mph time (0-100 km/h) of 14.6 seconds, going on to an electronically-limited top speed of 81 mph (130 kph)

As Autocar reports, the MG concept EV was made available at the 90th birthday celebrations in non-production state, with suspension, wheels and tyres still officially unapproved. Despite this, the British motoring magazine reports, ride was good, with corning characteristics showing well-sorted steering, ‘plenty of grip,’ and minimal body roll.

This all ties in nicely with what we’ve heard of the original Roewe E50 on which the MG concept EV is based, but we do notice one important difference between both cars other than the more European-friendly body panels worn by the MG: range.

In its native China, the Roewe E50 is sold with an ‘expected’ range of up to 130 miles (209 km) per charge, but in the UK, MG is quoting a rather wide figure of between 50 and 71 miles. That, says MG staff, is because it wants potential customers to understand that realistic ranges will and do vary according to driving conditions and personal circumstance.

With no official word on price or indeed production plans, it’s impossible to say if or when the MG concept EV will make it into production. With MG willing to give rides in the almost production-ready car however, we’re thinking it will only be a matter of time before the MG brand has an all-electric variant.

MG says it’s waiting for European charging standards to settle before picking a charging technology for the all-electric minicar, but with electric car finally starting to gain traction across Europe we suspect it needs to act sooner, rather than later to avoid missing out on valuable market share.

Are you in Europe? Do you like the look of the MG concept EV? And most importantly, how much would you pay for one?

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.

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  • Richard Glover

    I started my interest in ev in China then purchased my lovely blue Leaf in 2011 and fully expected China to come strong in the European and USA markets by now.nI know realise they are working to satisfy their own market rather than ours and that is good and shows just how marvellous China’s economy is. nDo I like the look of the MG concept EV? concept cars don’t excite me, just get on and make the real thing.nAs for price MG should look at the cost of small automatic ice cars and match those. nI want MG to mean My God thats cheap.

  • Motobiman

    With such a short range its appeal will be very limited….. IMHO

  • Ad van der Meer

    As the car is made in China, I’d like to see how the car fares in a face off with a serious piece of concrete before I’d consider driving it.

  • John Simpson