SAIC-owned MG Motor has developed an electric vehicle that is more advanced and premium than the MG ZS EV, despite the car’s lower price positioning—the MG Mulan. The company offers the new electric hatchback as the MG4 EV in the UK and as the MG4 Electric in the EU markets.
At the MG4 EV’s European launch held on September 13, 2022, Camille Caux, Product Manager, MG Motor France, revealed that it will be available in two more variants in the future, one with more range and one with higher performance. We are calling these variants ‘Touring’ and ‘Sport,’ respectively, for ease of understanding for our readers until MG reveals their actual names. Here’s what all we know about the upcoming variants and the standard MG4 EV so far:
MG4 EV Touring (Range variant)
The MG4 EV Touring will have a 77 kWh battery pack that delivers a WLTP range of more than 500 km (311 miles). That’s a confirmation straight from Caux:
We are planning a 77 kWh battery with more than 500 km of range.Camille Caux, Product Manager, MG Motor France (Digital premiere of the MG4 EV on September 13, 2022)
The new long-range range variant will make the MG4 EV an even more attractive choice against the ID.3, which tops out at 265 miles (426 km) in the UK.
MG4 EV Sport (Performance variant)
As for the MG4 EV Sport, Caux said that the MG is planning a sporty variant “a sporty MG4 with four-wheel drive.”
Thanks to the MSP platform, we can fit a second motor on the front wheel and give it a really spicy taste with at least twice the power of the MG4 you tested today and an acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in less than four seconds.Camille Caux, Product Manager, MG Motor France (Digital premiere of the MG4 EV on September 13, 2022)
With a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint time of under four seconds, the MG4 EV Sport will challenge the VW ID.3 GTX. It could be nearly identical to China’s MG Mulan Triumph Edition.
Like the Mulan Triumph Edition, the MG4 EV Sport could be hoisted on exclusive 18-inch wheels wrapped in 235/45 R18 Bridgestone tires. Also exclusive to the go-fast variant could be the SUPER XDS electronic differential lock for enhanced traction. Inside, MG could use Alcantara sports seats with 6-way electric adjustment and 2-way lumbar support for the driver and 4-way manual adjustment for the front passenger.
The MG4 EV Sport will employ two motors, one at the front and one at the rear. The AWD layout should ensure better driving dynamics, and it may be capable of towing light loads, like small boat trailers, for instance.
If the specifications are identical to the Mulan Triumph Edition, the MG4 EV Sport’s dual-motor powertrain could produce 330 kW (443 hp) of combined power and 600 Nm (443 lb.-ft.) of total torque. Similarly, a 0-62 mph sprint could take just 3.8 seconds. Unlike the Mulan Triumph Edition, the MG4 EV Sport could have the new 77 kWh battery pack, which may enable a WLTP range of around 250 miles.
Priced in the mid-30 thousands, the MG4 EV Sport would be a great choice for anyone looking for an affordable performance hatch with low running costs. Only time will tell if it robs sales from the GBP 42,695 VW Golf R that completes the 0-62 mph sprint in 4.7 seconds.
MG4 Exterior Design
The MG4 Electric is an aggressively designed electric hatchback. SAIC says it’s the first truly global car from the MG brand, and the design is such that it appeals the Chinese and global customers alike. At the front, the MG4 features a shark-like nose section, petal-shaped, three-eyed headlamps, a muscular bumper with vertical side air intakes, a split lower air intake, and a lip spoiler.
The MG4 Electric has a sporty appearance on the sides with a rising beltline, sharp creases on the door panels and shoulders, orange brake calipers, and two-tone black and silver alloy wheels in an EV-typical aerodynamic design. The charging port is on the quarter panel above the left wheel arch.
At the rear, the MG4 Electric features a hunkered-down stance, a large, almost full-width tail light (featuring the SAIC Vision LED Lighting System), a clean bumper, a split rear spoiler, and an SUV-style large skid plate. Except for the low ride height, it looks like a crossover in many ways.
In the UK, the MG4 EV will be available in Volcano Orange (new), Camden Grey (new), Holborn Blue, Dynamic Red, Black Pearl, and Arctic White colors. MG will offer a two-tone roof option as well.
MG4 Interior Design
The MG4 features a simplistic yet contemporary interior featuring a sleek dashboard with slim AC vents, a floating center console with the drive mode selector and electric parking brake, a compact, two-spoke steering with flattened top and bottom, and a light white and gray two-tone upholstery. The instrument cluster is a 7-inch compact display attached to the dashboard. A 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment display sits atop the center of the dashboard.
Nebula Platform (MSP)
While the ZS EV came off a combustion engine model (ZS), the MG4 Electric is a bespoke EV based on the Nebula platform. That’s what MG is calling its new platform back home. In Europe, the branding used is Modular Scalable Platform or MSP in short. In a report it published on June 26, 2022, autohome.com.cn called this a “super platform” developed from the ground up exclusively for electric vehicles. ‘E2’ is the internal codename as per the Chinese report, meaning it’s the successor to the MG Marvel‘s E1 platform.
The MSP’s scalable design allows developing EVs with a wheelbase of between 2,650 to 3,100 mm. It’s possible to design EVs with various body styles on the new platform: hatchback, notchback, saloon, SUV, and van. It will have a key role in the growth of MG in Europe.
When the development of the Marvel X was completed, work on the Nebula platform (MSP) began immediately, according to Kang Huaping, Vice President of SAIC Innovation Research and Development Institute. SAIC spent a lot on this platform to achieve standardization, modularization, integration, and intelligence. In the future, the Roewe, Feifan (formerly called R), and Zhiji brands will also get models based on this dedicated EV platform.
MG’s electric model measures 4,287 mm in length, 1,836 mm in width, and 1,504 mm in height. The compact electric car has a generous 2,705 mm wheelbase. Thus, it competes with the VW ID.3, Cupra Born, Renault Megane E-Tech, and the Nissan Leaf.
Performance & Range
In the UK, the MG4 EV will be available in Standard Range and Long Range variants, both with a single motor mounted at the rear. The Standard Range variant’s motor generates 125 kW (168 hp) and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, while the Long Range variant’s motor produces 150 kW (201 hp) and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. The former has a 50.8 kWh battery pack that delivers a WLTP range of 218 miles, while the latter has a 61.7 kWh battery that returns a WLTP range of up to 281 miles.
The MG4 EV can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds (Standard Range)/7.7 seconds (Long Range) and achieve a top speed of 100 mph. We have mentioned the charging times and other specifications in a table at the end of this section.
The MG4 Electric has a 50:50 weight distribution, which should make it better at handling. Plus, at least in China, it gets a Dual Pinion-Assist Electric Power Steering (DP-EPS) instead of a conventional Rack-Assist Electric Power Steering (REPS). The new technology has come to the auto industry just in time when customers around the world have started increasingly preferring the SUV body style and electric powertrains. Steering loads are higher in EVs compared to ICE vehicles because of the weight of heavy batteries. They require a different steering system to handle the additional weight. In DP-EPS, the primary pinion is optimized for vehicle dynamics and performance and the secondary pinion is optimized for assist.
One Pack battery
MG says it was able to keep the car’s height so low because of its exceptionally flat battery, which belongs to the “One Pack” battery system (called Rubik’s Cube battery system in China). This is the flattest battery that parent company SAIC has developed.
One Pack battery system, with its recumbent cell arrangement, allows an industry-leading 110 mm minimum battery height. The battery’s length and width are 1,690 mm and 1,300 mm, respectively. SAIC has used the new cell-to-pack or CTP technology, which makes the MG4 Electric one of the brand’s most advanced EVs to date.
With the One Pack battery system, it’s possible to design battery packs with energy storage capacities ranging from 40 kWh to 150 kWh. Battery swapping is also possible, meaning SAIC will be able to sell MSP-based EVs with BaaS (Battery as a Service). Zhu Jun, Deputy Chief Engineer, SAIC, says that users can upgrade and even shift to a smaller battery when needed. Ningde E-CON Power System, a Shanghai E-CON Power System company, in which SAIC has a 30% ownership through Ningde Jiaocheng SAIC Industry Upgrade Equity Investment Partnership (LP), makes the battery pack of the MG4 Electric.
The MSP platform enables 800-volt charging technology as well. The models equipped with 800-volt charging technology will get a range of 200 km (124 miles) with just five minutes of charging and take only 15 minutes for charging to 80% level. The models equipped with the regular 400-volt charging technology will get a range of 100 km (62 miles) with five minutes of charging and take 30 minutes for charging to 80% level. The Autohome report suggests that bidirectional charging will also be possible in the Nebula platform (MSP)-based models.
|Aspect||MG4 EV Standard Range Specification||MG4 EV Long Range Specification|
|Length||4,287 mm||4,287 mm|
|Width||1,836 mm||1,836 mm|
|Height||1,504 mm||1,504 mm|
|Wheelbase||2,705 mm||2,705 mm|
|Front Track||1,550 mm||1,550 mm|
|Rear Track||1,551 mm||1,551 mm|
|Boot Capacity (rear seats up)||363 liters||363 liters|
|Boot Capacity (rear seats folded)||1,177 liters||1,177 liters|
|Curb Weight||1,655 kg||1,685 kg|
|Gross Weight||2,103 kg||2,133 kg|
|System Power||168 hp||201 hp|
|System Torque||184 lb.-ft.||184 lb.-ft.|
|Acceleration (0-60 mph)||7.5 seconds||7.7 seconds|
|Top Speed||100 mph||100 mph|
|Battery Pack Capacity (Net)||50.8 kWh||61.7 kWh|
|Combined Range (WLTP)||218 miles||281 miles (SE)/270 miles (Trophy)|
|City Range (WLTP)||305 miles||360 miles (SE)/358 miles (Trophy)|
|Charging Time (7 kW AC fast-charger)||7.5 hours||9 hours|
|Charging Time (50 kW DC fast-charger)||52 minutes||60 minutes|
|Charging Time (150 kW DC fast-charger)||39 minutes||35 minutes|
Driving Electric has reviewed the MG4 EV, stating that the hatchback is a sportier and more fun EV than other MG EVs available in the UK (ZS & 5). However, it’s soft enough and tackles bumps smoothly. The steering has a weight to it and is precise. There’s almost no body roll in this car.
Overall, the 4 offers a good ride quality, although it’s not as composed as European electric cars like Volkswagen’s ID.3 or Cupra’s Born. Driving Electric also found MG not equipping the car with switches or paddles to adjust the regen inconvenient. The driver can alter the regen level through the infotainment system, but that can be distracting while driving.
Autocar’s review says that the MG4 EV’s torque surge starts to lose effectiveness after 70 mph, although that shouldn’t be a problem for customers getting this car for mainly urban usage. If driven properly and not pushed to its limits, the car handles very well and offers plenty of grip during cornering. It offers excellent body control and good stability on poor roads as well. Like Driving Electric, Autocar missed having paddles for selecting the regen level. It even found the infotainment system mildly challenging to use.
Auto Express‘ review of the MG4 EV also indicates that the infotainment system could use some improvements. It notes that 100% one-pedal driving like in the Nissan Leaf is not possible in this car, but the brakes feel good, not giving any jerks or stuttering when applied. Auto Express says that the car’s tuning is on the softer side, which means that it’s comfortable but it doesn’t handle very well at high speeds. The steering has a nice weight to it. It responds quickly, and the front axle can match that speed.
MG offers the 4 EV in the UK in three configurations: SE Standard Range, SE Long Range, and Trophy Long Range. The base configuration includes automatic LED headlights and rear lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, the MG Pilot ADAS suite, adaptive cruise control, etc. The Long Range SE configuration adds an Active Grille Shutter (AGS) system that improves the EV’s aerodynamic efficiency by up to 30% and can increase range by up to 10% by regulating the airflow.
The Trophy Long Range configuration adds a two-tone roof, rear privacy glass, rear spoiler, front seat heating with electric adjustment for the driver’s seat, heated steering wheel, wireless smartphone charger, an upgraded MG iSmart system, and more. Moreover, with a 360-degree camera and additional MG Pilot features (Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert), the range-topping configuration is safer.
In the UK, the prices of the MG4 EV start at GBP 25,995. Production takes place at SAIC’s Ningde factory in China, suggests images circulating in the local media (view on d1ev.com). The facility is Asia’s largest automobile plant.
|MG4 EV Trim||MG4 EV Price|
|SE Standard Range||GBP 25,995|
|SE Long Range||GBP 28,495|
|Trophy Long Range||GBP 31,495|
MG4 EV in Australia
In the export commencement announcement on July 22, 2022, SAIC confirmed that it plans to launch the MG4 EV in Australia, New Zealand, South America, Mexico, and the Middle East in 2023. Talking about Australia, where the ZS EV is the country’s most affordable EV and finished in second place in EV sales nationally in 2021, the local subsidiary is saving the launch announcement for a later date. An MG Australia spokesperson has said that a launch is under consideration and that the local subsidiary is looking into the model’s possible variants, The Driven reported on July 27, 2022.
MG triples its sales in Europe
2021 was an excellent year for MG in Europe, where it is an emerging brand. The company sold 52,546 vehicles across the continent in 2021. That may be a small, five-digit sales figure, but compared to 2020, MG tripled its sales in the region. The UK was its biggest market there in 2021, accounting for 30,600 units of the total sales. Another significant achievement for MG in 2021 was the growth of sales and service locations from 150 to 400 points.
In Q1 2022, MG delivered 22,135 vehicles in Europe, marking a whopping 158% year-over-year growth (Q1 2021: 8,580 units).
The MG4 EV is a very attractive electric compact hatchback for customers seeking high-end technology at a bargain price. It’s better than the VW ID.4 in many ways and leaps ahead of the Nissan Leaf. Plus, with the upcoming range- and performance-focused additional variants coming in 2023, it will offer something for almost every potential family hatchback buyer.
MG4 EV FAQs
What is the MG4 Electric release date?
The MG4 Electric has been launched in the UK.
What is the MG4 Electric price?
The MG4 Electric costs £25,995 onwards in the UK and EUR 28,990 onwards in EU markets.
Featured Image Source: SAIC