The MG division of SAIC (Shanghai Auto) is preparing to launch its first SUV, spy shots from bitauto.com show. The upcoming MG car looks so close to Ssangyong Korando that it was mistaken for a facelifted version of the latter by worldcarfans.com earlier this month.
The white test car exposed bears no logo, but the red SMTC sign (for "SAIC Motor Technical Center") and the design of the front grille clearly indicate it will join the MG family, which so far includes only sedans and hatchbacks (SAIC launched the MG Icon mini SUV concept a year ago, but we have yet to see the production version of it).
Above: MG SUV spied, in comparision with Ssangyong Korando
It is not the first time for SAIC to copy models developed by Ssangyong. The Roewe W5, released in August 2011, was a clone of the Kyron. Borrowing Ssangyong designs and technologies may be taken as a proper way by SAIC to recover some of the heavy losses it suffered for acquiring the South Korean automaker.
We expect the MG SUV to get SAIC’s Hyperboost 1.5T engine from the NSE series (New Small Engine) that can put out up to 135 horsepower and 200Nm of torque. Paired with it will be a DCT. The same powertrain is also coming to MG5 and Roewe 350.
Close to production ready, the MG compact SUV may make its debut at the 2013 Shanghai auto show, which is to open on April 20.
Below: MG SUV exposed earlier this month testing abroad