MG’s upcoming small SUV will be officially named at this week's London motor show, but an online leak has revealed its name
by Jimi Beckwith
2 May 2017
MG XS is the name given to a new compact SUV that will rival the Nissan Juke this year.
MG was planning to announce the car's name at this week's London motor show, but a leak onto the manufacturer's website revealed it would swap the ZS moniker given to it in the Chinese market for XS.
When it goes on sale in Britain this November, it'll slot into the MG line-up beneath the existing GS. Its styling differs dramatically from the larger model, receiving the Anglo-Chinese car maker’s new Jaguar-like grille and Mazda-like headlights.
The new SUV has been styled by SAIC Design – a division of MG's parent company, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, with input from its design studios in China and the UK.
The new design language aims to provide the new MG with a more upmarket appearance than the GS, with greater attention to detailing and surface forms than we’ve seen in recent MG models.
Original plans for the second MG SUV model were made public with the unveiling of the retro-inspired MG Icon concept at the Shanghai motor show in 2012.
Shared engines with the GS
Autocar has already sampled a turbocharged 1.0-litre version of China's XS model with 123bhp, but a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre engine, based on the one in MG 3.
The GS's six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic will likely be offered in the XS - both produced in-house at SAIC.
UK marketing boss Matthew Cheyne told Autocar that the production model will add new engines to MG's range as well, with a hybrid and electric version both in the pipeline. These could also be used in the next-generation MG 3, although that model's UK debut is a long way off.
Price and arrival date
Cheyne told Autocar that, like the GS, the new car would offer a large amount of equipment for considerably less money than rivals. This strategy puts the as yet unnamed car in direct competition with the Ssangyong Tivoli, which costs from £12,950 - nearly £4000 less than the Nissan Juke.
Larger SUV due later
MG’s SUV line-up will be completed by a larger SUV, similar in size to the Nissan X-Trail.
Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that MG has grown by more than 40% in certain months compared with the same periods last year.
By expanding into other popular segments like the small SUV market, MG hopes to increase its currently diminutive market presence - it had 4200 registrations last year.
Additional reporting by Greg Kable