Aggressive bodykit with wide arches is inspired by the original Metro 6R4
MG pays tribute to iconic Metro 6R4 Group B rally car with electric hyper-hatch
The EX4 is based on the new MG 4 XPower hot hatch, utilising the 429bhp dual-motor electric powertrain that allows the road-going version – also being revealed at Goodwood – to dispatch the 0-62mph sprint in 3.8sec.
Its large rear spoiler, chiselled front wing and wide-box wheel arches are a clear reference to the 6R4, jutting out from the basic MG 4’s bodywork in brutal fashion.
Such features are unlikely to translate into MG’s production cars but hint at the brand’s renewed commitment to performance models, for which it was historically best known.
The XPower sub-brand, for example, had been absent from the UK market since the X-Power SV was axed in 2005. In China, however, it remained a part of MG’s iconography and was recently used to denote the hotter variant of the MG 6.
It’s here! Introducing the MG EX4. Paying homage to the iconic Metro 6R4, the all-new MG EX4 embodies the spirit of its legendary predecessor. Witness the thrilling unveiling at @fosgoodwood.#MG #MGUK #MGMotor #MGMotorUK #MGEX4 #FOS pic.twitter.com/f0tFqbXxoX
— MG Motor UK (@MGmotor) July 12, 2023
The ‘EX’ nomenclature reinforces this: the last MG concept car to carry the branding was 1985’s EX-E, which didn’t directly translate into production but influenced the MGF of 1995.
The F was the brand’s first all-new sports car since the MGB was introduced in 1962.
Coincidentally, the EX-E concept used running gear from the original 6R4 rally car.
The Metro 6R4 was developed in the early 1980s with the goal of challenging for World Rally Championship titles under the now-infamous Group B ruleset.
Based on the compact MG Metro, it was beset by delays: formal development began in collaboration with Williams Grand Prix Engineering in February 1981, but the car didn’t compete in a rally until March 1984 – winning eight stages before an alternator fire forced retirement.
It made its debut in finished specification – with the specially developed atmospheric V64V engine – at November 1985’s Lombard RAC Rally, securing a podium finish. That podium was, however, topped by the Lancia Delta S4 that also made its debut at the event.
The Metro 6R4 was consistently outgunned on the international stage, but became a cult classic in national competitions and in Rallycross.
Will Gollop famously ran a modified 6R4 (fitted with twin turbochargers and de-stroked to 2.3 litres) in the European Rallycross Championship throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, taking top honours in 1992.
Welsh engineering outfit Motorsport Tools recently announced it is developing a recreation of the rally car, stylistically faithful and similarly hardcore, but this time using a 450bhp Audi V6.
The EX4 concept will be displayed at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed alongside the 4 XPower, wearing a special livery to commemorate the event.