MG has started its campaign to become a big player in the EV space by bringing three MG4 electric hatchbacks to Australia months before the cars arrive in dealerships.
The circa-$40,000 Chinese-made MG4 is a potential game changer for MG, which until now has only offered the MG ZS EV in the booming electric car market.
Whereas the ZS EV is an electric version of an existing model – the ZS small SUV – the MG4 sits on a dedicated EV architecture that bring benefits with packaging and efficiency.
READ MORE: Every new EV coming to Australia in 2023
It’s officially a small hatchback, but a near-flat floor maximises back seat space.
Describing it as a “glimpse of MG’s future”, MG Australia CEO Peter Ciao confirmed the MG4 will go on sale here in the second half of 2023.
The big question is how much it costs, something MG is not talking about just yet. However, it’s almost certain the MG4 will undercut every EV currently on the market.
In the UK the MG4 is priced from £26,995, which translates to about $49,300 today in Australia.
The Long Range model is £29,495 and a better equipped Trophy Long Range is £32,495.
However, overseas the MG4 undercuts the MG ZS by about 11.5 percent.
If that same logic was applied here it would make the MG4 about $42,000 drive-away, comfortably undercutting the soon-to-arrive GWM Ora that currently holds the title of being the cheapest EV available in Australia.
There’s a chance the MG4 could start from closer to $40,000.
The car most likely to challenge it on price is the upcoming BYD Dolphin that arrives within months.
The MG4 will be available with two battery capacities.
The 51kWh battery will be the cheapest model, likely to be priced from close to $40,000 drive-away.
It has a WLTP range of 350km and gets a single 125kW/250Nm electric motor driving the rear wheels. It’s claimed to get to 60mph (96km/h) in 7.5 seconds.
Charging from a home powerpoint takes about 25 hours while a wallbox takes about 7.5 hours. A 10-80 percent DC fast charge is claimed to take about 39 minutes.
The MG4 Long Range gets a 64kWh battery that has a 450km WLTP range. The bigger battery allows that single motor to make slightly more power, at 150kW, with the same 250Nm of torque. The additional 30kg for the bigger battery offsets that additional power, though, and the MG 4 Long Range takes 0.2 seconds longer (7.7 seconds total) to reach 96km/h.
Charging from a home powerpoint takes about 30 hours, while a wallbox is nine hours. Fast 10-80 percent charging takes 35 minutes.
Both come with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane keep assist, traffic jam assist, driver attention monitoring and speed sign recognition.
Both also get 17-inch alloy wheels, a 7-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch centre screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The better-equipped Lux addition (which is only available with the Long Range battery) also gets blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.
That Trophy model also picks up the ability to use your phone as the key, a heated steering wheel, a six-speaker sound system (up from four), wireless phone charging and a 360-degree camera.
The MG4s are on display at the FullyCharged Live electric car show in Sydney this weekend.