Rise from the ashes – The return of MG to Australia

On Parramatta road at Petersham, locked away in the lavish former Rick Damelian showrooms, sit Australia’s newest addition to it’s ever increasing motor market. Or maybe it should it be ‘re-addition’ to Australia’s car market as this brand, because this marque has been before. The cars are all MG, and they are about to be released upon the car buying Australian public…..again.

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The new MG is still powered by a derivative of the last MG’s 1.8 litre engine, although cloaked in new body styles. Under the bonnet lies the newly named ‘Kavachi’ engine. This petrol powerplant is turbocharged, but not intercooled, pumping out 118kw@5500rpm/215nm@2500-4500rpm. Fuel consumption is rated at 5.6l/100km, at 90kmh. The initial sales models in Australia, one source tells me numbers around 300, are only going to be available in the manual petrol version when the car is  sold here. A sales brochure shows 4 different trim levels, from ‘Comfort’ up to ‘Grand Deluxe’, although the top trim levels seem to be packing automatic transmissions, an option not available here yet. The safety levels are high, with the majority of the vehicles in the lineup being available with nearly all the safety options available. The most notable exception to this is the availability of the 6 airbag system, which from the sales brouchure is only available in the top of the range cars, those not available here yet.

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In the initial rollout, only the MG6 model will be available, with a smaller MG3 model available later in the year. Two body styles have been announced for the MG6, the Magnette and the Fastback, both of which roll on 17 inch rims. The body colours available on these cars hark back to MG’s heritage, with names like ‘Birmingham Orange’ and ‘Manchester Red’ standing out in the colour option list.

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On the Easter long weekend, the not yet released models will be making an appearance at the MG car clubs’ national meeting, to be held in Toowoomba. This event is to be a chance to see the new MG6 in action, with at least one of each model entered in every event (except for the concours, which wouldn’t be fair as the new MG cars would look like they just rolled out of the factory). In the motorkhana the cars will be given a chance to show their sporting prowess, the touring ability being tested in the observation run. As an MG fan, Queensland MG car club chairman Richard Mattea is pleased at the marque’s return to Australia. Although yet to jump behind the wheel of an MG6 for himself, he is ‘heartened by many of the reports from the UK which suggest the car has captured the spirit of the marques long standing moto “Safety Fast”. This from a man whose own experience with the brand began at a young age when his father bought a mid 50s MG Y-tourer, so he is glad to be involved in the brand’s launch in Australia under it’s new owners.

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So now MG cars are coming back, how will they fare? In an ever increasing mid size car market, the MG brand will hopefully be able to cash in on it’s heritage, while also being able to attract some new fans to the spontaneously reappearing car brand. The addition of a diesel model would be handy, in order to be able to take on the likes of the currently released manufacturers. With the already established carmakers putting alot of effort into selling their diesel engines cars, then MG might not be able to go without a diesel in the lineup. As with all things, only time will tell, and hopefully the 88 years of heritage the company has built up will help it to move some vehicles.

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Maybe this will be the last time MG will have to be relaunched in Australia.

Many thanks to Richard Mattea of the MG Car Club of Queensland for his assistance http://www.mgccq.org.au/

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