Auto Express reckon that the new MG ZS is being tested using an MG3 as a mule:
MG insiders confirm next year’s Nissan Juke rival will be called MG ZS, and we've spotted it testing on the road
MG is set to follow up the introduction of the MG GS with a new, smaller SUV similar in size to the Nissan Juke - and our spy photographers have spotted it out testing on the road as a development mule.
It's clear that this development car is riding high on its wheels, hinting that it is indeed the new MG SUV that's based on the same platform as the GS, which rivals Nissan's Qashqai. There's not much we can tell about the car's design from this working mule, but it does at least indicate that the car will get a higher ride height than the MG3 hatchback.
Running a number plate check on the test mule shows that it's running a 1.0-litre petrol engine, which is interesting as there's no engine that small in the MG line-up currently. If MG is developing a small three-cylinder turbo unit, it could appear in other models in the range as well as the ZS.
According to a high-ranking MG insider, the new car will be badged MG ZS. The model will mark the revival of the nameplate last used to denote MG’s version of the Rover 45, a saloon and hatchback axed in 2005.
Plus, MG's head of marketing Matthew Cheyne said that the explosion in popularity of SUVs and crossovers has meant it’s a market the brand cannot ignore. The new GS is built on a platform that can support a smaller model, which means the smaller version may also get the same 1.5-litre petrol engine and 6-speed manual gearbox from the GS, as well as the 1.0-litre mentioned above. There's also a 7-speed DCT automatic in the GS, which could also appear on the smaller car.
The platform also supports larger cars, which means we could see a seven-seater rival for the Nissan X-Trail in the MG line-up in the future - but hardcore fans of MG won't be pleased to learn that MG’s new focus on SUVs has come at the cost of a new MG two-seater roadster.
Although the ZS’ styling will borrow heavily from the British-designed MG GS, the final look will be influenced by the MG Icon concept, first shown at Beijing Motor Show in 2012. That car featured clear styling links to the MGB GT of the 1960s but in a pumped-up crossover package, and was penned by Brit Anthony Williams-Kenny and his team at parent company's SAIC's HQ in Shanghai.
The look of the forthcoming MG ZS has been described by our source as “chunky”, much like the market-leading Nissan Juke.
Fuel economy of over 50mpg is likely in the lighter Juke rival, but the headline figure will be the price. With the GS starting at more than £3,500 less than the Qashqai, we expect MG's Juke to cost from around £12,000 - significantly less than the Nissan.
More pictures and source here:
MG ZS: new Nissan Juke rival spotted | Auto Express