MG is gearing up to begin the local assembly of its vehicles in Pakistan. Teasers of its enticing lineup of cars have caught the fancy of many, however, they have also given rise to pertinent questions — How many of those cars will actually make it to Pakistan?
A senior MG official who requested discretion spoke to ProPakistani about MG’s future plans. He stated that MG’s assembly plant is almost complete and it will begin its operations in the 2nd half of 2022.
He highlighted that once local assembly begins, MG will launch the following new vehicles:
MG HS 1.5T and 2.0T AWD
The first cars to go on sale will be locally assembled MG HS 1.5T and 2.0T All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) variants. The 1.5T is already on sale while the 2.0T AWD has been on display at various dealerships periodically.
As is evident by its name, the 2.0T AWD variant features a more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder petrol engine that makes up to 224 horsepower (hp) and 360 Newton Meters (Nm) of torque and sends it to all four wheels via a 6-speed DCT automatic transmission.
Its appearance and features are mostly the same as the existing 1.5T variant, meaning that it is a well-equipped and practical crossover SUV with more power. It is safe to speculate that the HS 1.5T’s price will be reduced due to being locally assembled, however, the 2.0T AWD variant will target a more niche market with a larger price tag.
The company also plans to launch a more powerful variant of its subcompact SUV dubbed the ZST. MG will offer it as a locally assembled SUV, just like its bigger counterparts.
It has a turbocharged 1.3 liter 3-cylinder petrol engine that makes 161 hp and 230 Nm of torque which it sends to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Being a high-end variant, the ZST will have a few improvements in terms of features over the normal ZS.
MG is likely to position the ZST as a competitor to the Peugeot 2008, which means a larger price tag as well.
Based on teasers alone, it is safe to say that MG GT is among the most popular incoming cars in Pakistan. Its display in major cities across Pakistan gathered huge crowds and interest from potential buyers.
The yellow MG GT display car has a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces 118 hp and 155 Nm of torque, which it sends to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
The GT is a total package with a posh interior and materials, a sporty and sleek exterior, and extensive safety and convenience features. However, its price will dictate its popularity among people.
“A Seven-Seater SUV”
Although the official only said that MG will launch “a seven-seater SUV” next it will most likely be the RX8. Not to be confused with Mazda RX8, MG RX8 is a midsize 7-seater family SUV that competes with Kia Sorento, Changan Oshan X7, and Chery Tiggo 8.
It has a similar 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces 224 hp and 360 Nm of torque, which it sends to front wheels or all four wheels (depending on the variant) via a 6-speed DCT automatic gearbox.
It also has all the modern safety and convenience features such as 6 airbags, ABS Brakes, hill-start assist and descent control, ESC, traction control, cruise control, and Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS).
Changan and Chery have set a precedent for MG with the launch of Oshan X7 and Tiggo 8 Pro respectively. Time will tell if MG can follow it with the launch of its midsize SUV.
Toyota currently rules the pickup truck market with Toyota Hilux. However, MG plans to through down the gauntlet by launching the Extender.
It is a midsize sports utility pickup truck that has several powertrain options. The most common one is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel engine that puts out 161 hp and 375 Nm of torque. It comes with two drivetrains – a 6-speed manual that sends power only to the rear wheels and an all-wheel-drive 6-speed automatic.
Like other MGs, the Extender also features ADAS technology, driver and passenger airbags, ABS Brakes, hill-start assist and descent control, traction and stability control, and multiple drive modes, among other features. However, it is likely that MG Extender will also warrant a hefty price tag.
What About MG 3?
The official said that, although the company realizes MG 3’s potential and popularity in Pakistan, its launch is currently not on MG’s plans for the near future.
He added that MG does not sell its hatchback in many Right-Hand Drive (RHD) markets. Resultantly, the production volume for it is quite low, which would make it a challenge for the company to meet its demand in Pakistan.
He clarified that the company does plan on launching MG 3 in Pakistan, but only when it’s feasible to do so. He added that the company’s focus is on bringing ‘strong value for money’ products to the market first. Once that’s out of the way, then the company will focus on economy cars.