New 2022 MG 4 takes on Volkswagen ID 3 with 280-mile range

MG 4 orange static front three quarters

The MG 4 is the Chinese brand’s first electric hatchback

New electric family hatchback to reach UK shores in September; hot 443bhp flagship to follow

The MG 4 electric hatchback will arrive in the UK in September, rivalling the Volkswagen ID 3 and Kia Niro EV with up to 281 miles of range, a spacious interior and optimised dynamics. 

First revealed in China, where it’s known as the MG Mulan, the latest in a growing range of MG EVs is the first to be based on parent company SAIC’s new Modular Scalable Platform (MSP), which officials say will play a pivotal role in the brand’s future plans.

The modular platform, which MG says supports wheelbases ranging from 2650mm to 3100mm and batteries ranging from 40kWh to 150kWh, has been conceived around a newly developed One Pack battery construction process. It uses horizontally stacked cells to provide a floor height of just 110mm, with the battery forming an integral part of the platform structure.

Originally exposed in a series of Chinese patent images earlier this year, the styling of the 4 represents a departure from other recent MGs, with crisper lines, sheer surfaces and detailing inspired by that first aired on the Cyberster roadster concept that was unveiled in 2021.

Key elements include a low front end featuring a large MG badge, angular headlights with distinctive “eyebrow” graphics and a heavily structured front bumper with additional lights integrated within the outer edges.

A pair of prominent swage lines are incorporated within the sides, while the lower section of the doors form part of an extended sill.

At the rear, the five-door hatchback receives a large two-part roof-extension-cum-spoiler above an angled tailgate, together with a complex full-width tail-light assembly featuring LED graphics.

Among the options is a full-length glass roof.

At 4287mm long (with a 2705mm wheelbase), 1836mm wide and 1506mm tall, the 4 is 25mm longer, 27mm wider but a good 46mm lower than the Volkswagen ID 3 – just one of a number of electric hatchback rivals that it will face.

MG has confirmed the 4 will be sold with the choice of 167bhp and 201bhp single-motor rear-wheel-drive powertrains from launch, while a 443bhp dual-motor four-wheel-drive range-topper is set to follow. 

The performance version is claimed to provide a 0-62mph time of 3.8sec. Top speed is limited to 99mph.

The 167bhp car receives a 51kWh battery, the 201bhp and 443bhp cars a 64kWh battery. Official WLTP range is put at between 218 and 281 miles.

MG is yet to confirm the chemistry of the batteries, but other models from the Chinese brand offer either lithium ion phosphate (LFP) or lithium nickel manganese cobalt (LNMC) cells.

MG has confirmed the One Pack battery will initially use a 400V architecture but says it can be upgraded to 800V for faster charging in the future.

SAIC deputy chief engineer Zhu Jun talked up the dynamic properties of the 4, suggesting the new platform and integrated battery provide it with a 50:50 weight distribution “for optimum driving pleasure”.

Source: Autocar

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