Chinese brand MG’s new electric hot hatch is nearly as quick as a Tesla Model 3 or Model Y Performance – but for a price closer to $60,000 drive-away.
Chinese car brand MG has revealed a new electric hot hatch as quick as a Porsche 911 Carrera S or all-wheel-drive Tesla Model 3, for the price of a Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Badged ‘Triumph Edition’, the performance version of MG’s new MG 4 electric hatchback uses dual electric motors developing 330kW and 600Nm – 20kW/100Nm more than a petrol-powered, $100,000 Mercedes-AMG A45 S hot hatch.
The result of the power is a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.8 seconds – on par with the Mercedes and its Audi RS3 rival, which like the MG use all-wheel drive.
In the Tesla range, the MG’s time is half a second slower than a Model 3 Performance sedan (which quotes 393kW from dual motors) – but only one tenth slower than a Model Y Performance SUV (based on the Model 3), and 0.6s quicker than a mid-trim Model 3 Long Range.
Energy is stored in a 61.7kWh (usable; or 64kWh total) battery pack, good for 460km of claimed driving range according to – typically lenient – Chinese ‘CLTC’ testing procedures.
That compares to 520km for a single-motor MG 4 with the same battery, which claims 150kW/250Nm from a rear-mounted electric motor, and a 0-100km/h time of 7.9 seconds.
In Europe, this model claims up to 450km of driving range, according to more realistic WLTP testing procedures.
To match the increased power of the dual-motor system, Chinese models gain an all-wheel-drive torque vectoring system, upgraded orange brake calipers, larger 18-inch wheels, wider Bridgestone tyres, and unique Alcantara and leather seats.
However, it’s unclear if there have been any other upgrades to the suspension, brake discs or chassis stiffness to deliver the power to the road.
Prices for the dual-motor MG 4 have not been announced for China or the UK, however the UK’s Car magazine reports MG is “targeting” a price tag “in the mid-30 thousands [pounds]” – which could translate to a price below $AU60,000 drive-away in Australia.
For context, the current most expensive MG 4 costs £31,495 ($AU53,600) in the UK – and, based on the price of MG’s larger ZS EV electric SUV, is expected to cost just under $50,000 drive-away in Australia.
An entry-level Volkswagen Golf GTI costs about £36,000 ($AU61,200) drive-away in the UK – or, with more features included as standard, $54,990 plus on-road costs in Australia.
Drive has contacted MG Australia to confirm whether the dual-motor MG 4 will come to Australia – however it will be built in right-hand drive for the UK. The standard model range is due in Australia in the first half of next year.
If it is sold in Australia, it would be the quickest-accelerating new car under $90,000 – and if it is priced under the barrier, the most powerful car under $65,000 plus on-road costs.
While the car is known as the MG Mulan Triumph Edition in China – where the MG Mulan name is used for the base car, rather than MG 4, as in the UK – it is likely to wear a different name in overseas markets.
Car magazine reports the dual-motor MG 4 may form part of a sporty sub-brand with the upcoming Cyberster roadster. MG has previously applied the XPower badge to its sporty cars in China.