The MG E-Motion concept is a look into the future of the brand as proposed by Chinese owner SAIC. Conceived at the company’s design centre in Shanghai under SAIC’s design director Shao Jingfeng, the objective was to create an emotional four-passenger coupe. “The brief was to design a brand show car,” says Jingfeng. “The face is totally different from the latest MG3 and MG GS. The new generation design language comes from the MG ZS released in the UK. It was designed to give a brand feeling to customers.”
Work on the concept began roughly a year prior to the car’s unveiling at the 2017 Shanghai auto show. “We looked back to find the soul of the MG brand,” says Jingfeng. “In MG’s history, the soul is the sports car for young people, one that’s not too expensive.” The decision was prompted by changing tastes in China – with more customers looking to buy a vehicle that appeals to them on an emotional rather than a needs basis – and the fact that few sports cars are built by Chinese manufacturers. Jingfeng saw an opportunity.
MG’s tagline is ‘Emotional Dynamism’ and the letters in the name signify ‘My Glamour’. The brand’s keywords are exclusive, emotion, and agile. With these guidelines, the design team sought to combine MG’s sporty brand image and 100-year history with an EV’s environmentally sustainable attributes. The exterior design is an elegant form, with an undercut shoulder and tapering cabin. The roofline cascades down over the rear haunch giving the car a strong stance, while vertical taillamps flow off of the rear fenders for a unique look. Jingfeng cites the well-defined haunch and surfacing as a defining element of the MG brand.
The large, beautifully detailed grille lends the car its powerful character, proudly showcasing the MG badge at its centre. The headlamps are another very identifiable design element: both elegant and technologically advanced, they give the front face of the car a clear identity. The interior was designed to be both sporty and luxurious, which is seen in the colour and trim treatment and large floating screens. Blending technology with traditional materials, the cabin features an array of black screens intertwined with white and brown colourways, metal décor pieces and quilting. The combination creates a very contemporary aesthetic.
Jingfeng notes that the screens not only house all of the car’s functional elements — removing most traditional buttons for a cleaner, more sophisticated layout — but also enable passengers to benefit from SAIC’s partnership with Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba. The E-Motion isn’t a haphazard concept. It is a showcase for MG’s new design language, a brand builder and a halo product. It is a bright window into the future of the MG brand.