On the eve of the Shanghai Auto Show, MG unveiled a new concept inspired by the company’s long history in sporty roadsters.
Dubbed the ‘Cyberster,’ the concept is no reproduction of the classic T Series, MGA, MGB or Midget, but rather an exploration of where the idea of a two-seat MG roaster could be taken in the future.
It’s a new move for Chinese-owned MG, and certainly a deviation from the city cars, small hatchbacks and compact SUVs with which the brand has enjoyed success in recent years.
“The Cyberster is a bold statement that looks strongly into MG’s future, touching on our heritage but more importantly building on our technology and advanced design,” said Carl Gotham, Director of SAIC Design Advanced London.
“Cyberster is a hugely exciting concept for us.”
Born in the UK
The Cyberster was developed by the MG Advanced Design Centre (SAIC Design) in London. Recalling the traditions of MG (which date to 1924), the design team say they took specific inspiration from the MGB, which was MG’s most successful model, with over 500,000 built.
Round headlights, a wide grille and the famous octagon badge are the only hints of classic MGB in the styling, though. The rest of the concept is very much of the future, with a platform built specifically for electric power and a body designed to enhance aerodynamic performance.
For example, the grille serves as a duct to direct airflow over the chassis, aided by buttresses behind the seats and a kammback tail.
Design details include ‘Magic Eye’ headlights that “open” when switched on, a ‘laser belt’ LED light strip on the flanks, ‘hacker blade’ bespoke alloy wheels and LED tail lights with a Union Jack design that’s previously been used by Mini.
Inside the cabin, the futuristic themes continue with what MG are calling “digital fibre” design. Driver and passenger sit on ‘zero gravity’ multi-piece seats with floating headrests, while the door cards carry details inspired by the exterior.
Separating the occupants is a large central spine that flows into the dash and also carries an LED screen displaying gear selection and navigation.
Ahead of an aircraft-style yoke for the driver is another LED screen for the instrumentation, which is flanked by two smaller screens that presumably serve as rear-view displays, as the concept has no external mirrors.
The instrument screen also forms part of an “interactive gaming cockpit” with 5G connectivity.
Being a concept, specifics on the chassis, powerplant and battery technology are pretty wishy-washy, but MG are claiming the “intelligent, all-electric architecture” will deliver a range of approximately 800km and 0-100km/h acceleration under 3.0 seconds.
Since it was previewed and shown at the Shanghai Motor Show, numerous sources have stated that the Cyberster will go to production.
Electric power will almost certainly be retained, but most of other futuristic elements of the concept will be toned down to present day realities.
Some reports suggest the production Cyberster will be offered as a competitor to either the Mazda MX-5 or Porsche 911, depending on spec, speed and pricing. Given the modern MG’s budget motoring focus, the former seems more likely.
With MG’s roots in the UK, a right-hand drive version will be built if production goes ahead, making the Cyberster a possibility for Australian release.