The ’70s were difficult times for the British car industry. As quaint and often prestigious homegrown carmakers struggled with financial difficulties, consolidation temporarily helped the automotive industry, but would soon shut down what was once a mighty empire.
Today, a handful of prestigious names — MG, Jaguar, and even Rolls Royce — have survived with a little help from their international friends, and are now showing a potential rebirth through the electric drive. Morris Garage (MG) is flirting with electric vehicles (EV) and shows how the future of the British car industry can once again thrive. Is the electric MG E-Motion concept previewing the rebirth of the mighty giant?
Electric MG E-Motion Concept & The EV Race In The UK
My father had a few MG TAs and TDs. They were fun, quirky, and unique. I fell in love with the Triumph GT6, a Spitfire on steroids overpowered by the company’s straight 6 cylinders. It didn’t handle particularly well, but boy did it look like a Jaguar E-Type. However, it wasn’t an E-Type, and had all the tell-tale signs of the demise of the British car industry. Bits and pieces from here and there thrown on a humble chassis with nice looks didn’t cut it internationally.
MG suffered the same fate as Aston Martin, Lagonda, Morgan, Triumph, and more. But unlike Bentley, Daimler, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mini, and Rolls-Royce, it never found the sustainable deep pockets these companies found elsewhere.
Today, MG is owned by the SAIC Motor subsidiary SAIC Motor UK. The company produces two cars for Europe and is the biggest Chinese car importer in the UK. The electric MG E-Motion concept, however, seems to come straight from nowhere for those who haven’t followed much from the British automotive world. Shown at the 17th annual Shanghai International Automotive Show a few days ago on April 19th, the MG E-motion has everything needed to turn heads.
A sporty coupe with a powerful electric drivetrain and subtle hints of MG’s glorious past is how the company sees the future of the British car industry. With its sportsback design, it’s a tribute to the great MGB GT and MGC GT heritage, both incredibly fun cars to drive.
Electric MG E-Motion Concept, Technically
Claiming a mouthwatering 311+ miles (500+ km) of range, the electric MG E-Motion concept will sprint from 0 to 62 MPH (o to 100 km/h) in under 4 seconds. Besides that, the company claims the MG E-Motion concept will be “Equipped with an intelligent infotainment system, the supercar is fully internet-compatible … perfectly for the younger market.” Well, pardon me, but what about us older kids?
The E-motion could go into production by 2020, with a base price under £30,000, which is about $38,000. Whether we will still have EV incentives by then is another story. I’m hoping the price of lithium-ion batteries will have dropped enough to lower that price to $30,000, where it would compete with other archaic internal combustion engines (ICE).
Matthew Cheyne, Head of Sales and Marketing at MG Motor UK was quoted saying: “The MG E-motion electric supercar concept demonstrates our global vision for the future. Alongside leading the way in design and capability, the next-generation model is the latest step in achieving the ultimate driving experience.
“The Shanghai International Automotive Show highlights our progress and capabilities, while further new models will continue this future-thinking strategy, embracing innovation to deliver ground-breaking vehicles for the drivers of tomorrow.”
Electric MG E-Motion Concept Final Thoughts
While the electric MG E-Motion concept certainly seems enticing, there have been other companies with promising EVs. Specifically, the Lightning GT has been on our radar for … almost 10 years now. But the electric MG also hints at the reboot of the British car industry, albeit with a little help from its international friends. What was once an inescapable icon of the automotive industry, the electric MG E-Motion concept along with Jaguar’s I-PACE concept covered here by James Ayres shows that the British auto industry might finally take off again, this time with the correct propulsion system — electricity.
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