The all-new 2017 MG ZS has been revealed, representing a styling and technology step beyond the company's first SUV - the mid-sized GS, revealed late last year.
Importantly for the company's Australian operation, recently under new management, the ZS will come here late next year as a crucial new offering in the country's best-selling market segment.
The ZS introduces what will likely become a new corporate look for the MG brand, aping the merged grille-to-headlamps look now trending with the likes of Audi, BMW, Kia and Mazda - the latter potentially a direct inspiration for this new SUV's face.
A key point in MG's unveiling announcement was the ZS's internet-connected user functions, allowing individual drivers to log into the vehicle's system and control various features by voice alone.
"The MG ZS also uses natural semantic technology, which allows users to open and close the sunroof, regulate the temperature, playback music and request navigation, all by a simple oral command – hands free to allow drivers to focus on driving, ensuring a safer ride," the company says.
A panoramic sunroof was also highlighted, measuring 1365mm long and 870mm wide, with a 695mm opening space.
A look at the ZS SUV's interior is still to be offered, and the blacked-out windows of the cars on display suggest MG has not finished with that aspect of the car's design.
Reports overseas suggest the ZS is based on a shortened version of the GS SUV's platform, but the company has yet to confirm details of its architecture.
A new 1.0-litre direct-injected and turbocharged NetBlue '16T' petrol engine will provide power, offering 93kW and 170Nm of torque. Reports out of the UK suggest the GS SUV's 122kW/250Nm 1.5-litre unit could also appear in the ZS.
Speaking with British website Auto Express this week, MG marketing chief Matthew Cheyne said that while SUVs are new to the badge, the segment's huge popularity meant makes it one that very few brands can ignore.
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