Chinese-owned British carmaker MG Motor is planning to introduce plug-in hybrid powertrain in the UK, most likely in the 6 family hatchback and the GS crossover, according to a new report from Auto Express. MG UK Managing Director, William Wang, told the publication at the launch of the company’s new showroom in Piccadilly, London that investment in hybrid cars will be the next step for the firm.
Expressing the seriousness for hybridisation plans, Mr Wang said, “you can only go so far with just petrol and diesel” and MG will be “silly” not to go in the direction of hybrid cars when so many automakers have already entered the segment over the last five years. He confirmed that the first car to get a plug-in hybrid model in the UK will be the recently-facelifted and the Ford Focus competitor – MG 6.
The MG 6 shares its platform with MG Motor’s parent company SAIC’s Roewe 550. SAIC has been selling a hybrid model of the Roewe 550 for two years in China and hence an adapted version of the car can be made available in Europe. The Roewe 550 PHEV’s plug-in hybrid powertrain churns out 197 hp and 587 Nm of torque. An 11.8 kWh Lithium Iron Phosphate battery powers the electric motor and it can be fully charged in about 6-8 hours to provide a pure electric range of 36 miles (58 km). The MG 6 currently comes only with one engine option: a 1.9-litre diesel.
After the 6 hatchback, the GS crossover which rivals the Nissan Qashqai, will be next in line for plug-in hybrid treatment. The GS crossover will be launched in the UK in 2016 and it will be followed by a sub-compact crossover in 2017. Coming to fully electric cars, Mr Wang said that despite the company’s enthusiasm towards electric cars, the MG EV concept that was unveiled in 2014, won’t go into production as it was considered “too small” by the SAIC executives.
[News Source: Auto Express]