MG Cyberster: Everything we know as of May 2022

At the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show, MG showcased its vision of a two-seater sports car using the MG Cyberster concept. To celebrate MG’s centenary (2024), the brand is looking to fast-track the production version of the Cyberster to offer an ‘affordable sportscar’ for enthusiasts, according to an Autocar report dated February 7, 2022.

The development is no surprise as an MG electric sports car has been anticipated since last year. CarAdvice Australia stated in April 2021 that the exciting MG Cyberster would enter production for both left- and right-hand drive markets, though a timeline was not specified. The information was communicated to the publication by a spokesperson for the brand.

Design

SAIC’s London design centre did most of the MG Cyberster’s design, ensuring the car turned out as British as possible. According to a report from Auto & Design, the first studies came up in the UK, where the designers drew to a large extent on the brand heritage and the core of European driving culture. The exterior work, from sketching to digital mock-up, and scale modeling, almost entirely took place in the UK. In the final stage, the London design centre team members visited the people working on the project at the Shanghai design centre in China.

MG Cyberster rear three-quarters
The MG Cyberster range is about 500 miles (800 km). It is equipped with modular battery (CTP) technology. MG says the Cyberster’s design portrays its ambition to launch one of the fastest electric sports cars in the modern-day era. Image: MG Motor

The Cyberster is a proper European roadster design with a long and low nose, a steeply raked windscreen, and a rearward cabin. The two-door, two-seater electric sports car concept, which the company says takes a few design cues from the MGB roadster, comes with ‘Magic Eye’ headlamps that open when turned on. The black grille, dubbed ‘Windhunter’ (as reported on cardesignnews.com), is a nod to the past, with the headlights positioned above the grille. MG says the electric sports car features flattened ‘kamm tail’ rear, and stands out with the ‘hacker blade’ alloy wheels.

MG indicated in their press note that 2024, which marks the 100th anniversary for MG, would be a symbolic year to show the connection between the old and modern MG. MG UK’s design head Carl Gotham told Autocar that the production version would wear a more ‘toned down’ design compared to the concept. He added that the new electric sports car would capture the brand’s sports car DNA and be technologically advanced.

Interior & Features

Inside, the MG Cyberster gets what the company calls the ‘digital fiber’ cockpit with the driver and passenger’s space parted using a tunnel connected to the dashboard. The design takes on a driver-centric layout, with a sizeable LED instrument cluster with a second central screen. The driver’s screen offers key vehicle information in a minimalist fashion, while the display in the center has its more interactive features. The gaming controller-inspired steering displays music playback and other non-vehicle relation information.

MG’s ‘Zero Gravity’ seats have floating head restraints, while the door panels and red leather handles reflect the ‘laser belt’ that runs down the car’s exterior. Other features on the MG Cyberster include intelligent driving modes, ‘active-upgrading’ technology, 5G connectivity, and level 3 autonomous driving capability.

Performance

The MG Cyberster features a module-less battery technology with a claimed 500 miles (800 km) range. While the company did not release the specifications, MG Motor says the electric sportscar can do the 0-62 mph (0-100 kmph) sprint in less than 3 seconds.

MG Cube program launched for the production of the Cyberster

The production version of the MG Cyberster was confirmed at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show, and according to Autocar, MG’s crowdfunding campaign has managed to rope in 5000 prospective buyers. The buyers signed up for the marque’s Cybercube initiative, which delivers production-related updates, progress reports, and other details about the EV to keep its customers informed.

MG estimated that the production of Cyberster to be a CNY 1 billion (USD 157 million/GBP 108 million) project, and it set a target of receiving 5% of that amount — CNY 50 million — from its crowdfunding program. MG reached its aim of having 5,000 shares to start production of the Cyberster, with each share priced at CNY 1,000 (USD 157/GBP 113.5). The campaign was open till July 31, 2021, and the shares can be used as a deposit towards reserving the Cyberster.

Is the MG Cyberster electric sportscar the MGB of the 2020s?

The release of the MG Cyberster concept leads to a question: Could this become the spiritual successor to the classic MGB sports car of the 1960s? Don’t dismiss this as wild speculation, as one of the influential design bosses at SAIC had expressed the desire to have a roadster, and an electric one at that, about five years ago.

Source: Youtube/MG Motor Europe

“This is my desire. I would love to have this type of car for MG again,” Jingfeng told Australian publication Drive.com.au, which reported the interaction in a story titled ‘MG B roadster to be revived,’ in April 2017.

Drive.com.au reported that the designer admitted the skateboard-style platform underpinning the E-Motion concept could be downsized to create the base for the battery-powered convertible. He is said to have conceded that MG would need a smaller battery pack to preserve the handling, but that wouldn’t bother customers in this segment as sportscars are usually driven shorter distances and used less frequently than a family car. “I will try and convince the management we can do this car,” he signed off.

1965 MGB Convertible
The MGB was known as one of the easiest sports cars to own and was largely regarded as reliable and well-built, with spares that were easy to find. Image: MG Motor

Affordable halo car

While the public love sports cars, they hardly ever buy them. The business case for this body type has weakened over the years, leading to the discontinuation of many fabled nameplates. In the case of MG, the brand is taking a long-term view and not discounting the big PR and marketing benefits that an electric sports car announcement brings with it.

The “affordable halo” car from MG, as Autocar UK coins it, represents “cutting-edge technology” and “fantastic value for money,” as per Guy Pigounakis, MG Motor UK’s commercial director.

MG in the United States

In 2018, British publication The Telegraph spoke to Alan Magnuson, who managed UK liaison for the MG Car Club in the United States. He estimated that there could be about 30,000 families in America that own MG cars. He claimed that MG produced 511,000+ MGs from 1962 to 1980, and 60 percent of the production were shipped to North America, and that more 50 percent of the MG cars produced after World War II were sold in North America. The MGB and the MGA appear to be local favorites.

MG relaunched in the North American market by entering Mexico in 2020 with two crossover SUVs. In the U.S., the MG brand has been absent for about 40 years. While it has hinted at the possibility to return to the United States at least since 2006, previously having aborted plans to set up a production facility in Oklahoma (as reported by NYTimes.com), the EV-friendly Biden administration policies could spark conversations at the highest levels in the Chinese HQ to reopen the case.

Featured image: MG Motor