The next-generation MG GS will likely offer a seven-seat variant and will be launched by the end of the decade, according to company executives.
Speaking with Australian media in Shanghai last week, general manager for MG Australia, Zhu Chao, said the next-generation GS will likely spawn a three-row version that will straddle the medium and large SUV segments, similar to the Mitsubishi Outlander and Nissan X-Trail.
Despite the current GS only launching in Australia a month ago, the brand’s first SUV will be replaced by an all-new version within “two or three years”, indicating the mid-sizer will almost definitely be stretched to accommodate the extra row of seats and be further differentiated from the smaller ZS – which arrives locally in October.
A larger three-row SUV could also be in the works, as a competitor to the Mazda CX-9 and Toyota Kluger, though it’s unclear whether both will arrive within the same time frame, or if the next GS will fill both roles.
Above: MG GS
Meanwhile, the GS’s twin-under-the-skin, the Roewe RX5, will also be stretched to accommodate extra seats in its next iteration, while an upcoming all-electric variant (EV) of the current generation could potentially make its way to export markets like the UK and Australia.
A spokesperson from parent company SAIC Motor said the RX5 EV is being considered for export, though badged as an MG, and bolster the brand’s global product portfolio.
The petrol version already on sale in China – also known as the world’s first ‘smartcar’ thanks to its internet-enabled personal assistant co-developed with e-commerce company Alibaba – is apparently not being considered for export, as it would likely not perform well in Euro NCAP crash tests or meet stricter Euro 6 emissions regulations.
However, the spokesperson added the EV could be adapted to right-hand drive and modified to achieve a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, while the emissionless powertrain addresses concerns surrounding emissions regulations.
Above: Roewe RX5
Created by SAIC in 2005, Roewe originally sold vehicles based on products and technology from the now defunct British brand Rover.
The Chinese brand was unable to purchase the rights to the Rover name – which is owned by Land Rover, and subsequently Tata Motors – so instead it created Roewe, which in Chinese means something along the lines of “glorious power”, and is pitched as the luxury arm of SAIC Motor as opposed to the more sporty theme of the MG brand.
It’s unknown at this stage whether the RX5 EV will make it to Australia, though our market’s hunger for all things SUV could see the electric model, along with the next-generation MG GS, arrive in local showrooms around 2019-2020.
A facelifted GS will arrive first, however, likely wearing the ‘Nebula Shield’ front grille seen on the smaller ZS SUV and the E-Motion electric sports car concept, and is due to be revealed sometime next year.