MG’s new flagship sedan won’t form part of the brand’s passenger car line-up expansion in Australia.
The MG 7 large sedan will slot in at the top of the brand’s line-up in China, where sedans remain popular, but it’s not coming to our more sedan-averse market – though we’ll get the smaller MG 5 sedan and MG 4 Electric hatch.
“We are constantly listening to the needs and wants of our customers, but at this stage, we will not be bringing the MG7 into the Australian market,” said a spokesperson for MG Motor Australia.
MG is referring to the 7 as its first Black Label car, suggesting a more upscale bent for the sleek sedans – Lincoln offers more luxurious variants of its cars under the Black Label nameplate, for example.
The MG 7 features a sleek silhouette with fairly tight overhangs, prominent shoulders and a short rear deck.
Its side creasing is more dramatic than most MG cars, apart from the new MG One crossover that debuted last year, while up front there’s a menacing prow with a full-width grille and a blacked-out badge.
The interior has yet to be revealed, though it could feature dual 12.3-inch displays like the MG 5 Scorpio.
While MG hasn’t released full specifications, it has confirmed on social media site Weibo the MG 7 will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.
A teaser image reveals a 405 TGI badge on its boot lid.
The turbo 2.0-litre in the Chinese-market Pilot is badged 400TGI and produces 170kW of power and 370Nm of torque, slightly more than the 168kW/360Nm turbo 2.0-litre of the closely related HS here.
Expect, therefore, for the MG 7 to eke out slightly more power and torque, while a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic appears the likely choice of transmission.
The company has also released a teaser video on Weibo, featuring shots of the MG B roadster and MG ZT sedan against a classical music soundtrack and heavily emphasising its emerald green hero colour.
While it’s unclear just how large the MG 7 is, it likely features a similar footprint to traditional mid-sized rivals.
The mid-sized segment in Australia is a tough place for a car to be unless it’s a Toyota Camry, and most brands have been heading for the exits – witness the axing over the past few years of stalwarts like the Ford Mondeo, Kia Optima and Subaru Liberty.
This perhaps explains why there are no plans to bring the MG 7 here. A lack of demand for cars this size in other right-hand drive markets like the UK would also dampen any business case for the Chinese automaker.
The MG 7 will slot in above the MG 5 sedan and MG 6 liftback in the brand’s Chinese lineup.
The former was introduced in 2020 and arrives here in 2023, one of two MG cars – the other being the MG 4 Electric/Mulan – that’ll join the brand’s SUV-heavy lineup in Australia next year.
MG currently sells only one passenger car in Australia, the ageing but hot-selling MG 3.
It hasn’t brought the current, second-generation MG 6 liftback to Australia, which was introduced in China in 2016. It replaced a model that lingered on until 2019 in Australia despite slow sales.
The MG 6, roughly the same size as a Hyundai i30 Sedan and fractionally longer than the MG 5, is offered in a wide range of variants in China, including a 224kW plug-in hybrid that can be had in aggressive-looking X-Power guise.
MG’s use of the Rover 75-based MG ZT in its teaser video is reflective of the rather complicated history of the MG 7 nameplate.
When MG Rover went bankrupt, two companies – Nanjing Auto and SAIC Motor – acquired the means to continue producing the Rover 75 sedan.
That saw the vehicle reanimated as the Roewe 750 and MG 7. The Chinese Government ordered Nanjing and SAIC to merge, but the two separate model lines continued. Long-wheelbase versions of both were produced.
The MG 7 ended production in 2015, with the Roewe 750 following in 2016.
Since then, the MG brand has been without a flagship sedan. It does, however, offer vehicles larger than the MG 6 in some markets, including the Gloster (a rebadged LDV D90) and RX8 (née Roewe) large SUVs.