The MG roadster was once as closely associated with the British motoring landscape as hedgerows and drystone walls, but the 21st century hasn’t been kind to the British marque, thanks to shrinking customer demand and its sale to a new Chinese parent company. But MG’s traditional sports car heritage might just be about to get an electric jump-start, thanks to a new Cyberster roadster concept that has been penned inside its London design studio.
The MG brand was purchased by Chinese manufacturing giant SAIC in 2006, and it reintroduced MGs to the UK as a budget brand in 2011. Since then, although the product has been steadily improving, the brand hasn’t quite had a tendency to blip our radar. Until now.
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The concept as seen in these sketches is a traditionally proportioned roadster with a long bonnet and small cabin just ahead of the rear axle. This differs from MG’s most recent roadster, the MG-F/TF, and its use of a mid-engined layout, but it’s not surprising to see MG referring to its more distant heritage considering the MG-F’s reputation amongst most enthusiasts.
Despite retro nods to graphic elements such as the round headlights and illuminated body line down the car’s flanks, the overall design is far more muscular and modern than many a retro-pastiche roadster of the recent past (looking at you, Fiat).
The LED-heavy rear end, and a glimpse of some Mini-like Union Jack rear light graphics reinforce the contemporary overtone, something that’s mirrored by its inevitable electric powertrain.
While the notion of an electric roadster might not immediately raise the pulse rate for enthusiasts at the moment, its chance of becoming a production model is more likely than one powered by traditional internal combustion means considering MG’s investment in EV tech. With the electric performance car quickly escalating in weight, price and size, a small electric roadster might actually be what the sports car market needs for a recharge.