We wouldn’t be surprised if you are not familiar with the MG brand. After all, the British marque has been out of our market for a while but just in time for its 100th anniversary, the British marque will be making a comeback in Malaysia this year.
SAIC Motor is expanding its footprint in Malaysia
While MG is still based in the United Kingdom, it is currently owned by the largest automaker in China, SAIC Motor. The Chinese company essentially helped save MG from extinction when Nanjing Automobile in 2005 (which merged with SAIC just two years later) followed MG Rover Group’s collapse.
While SAIC already has a presence in Malaysia through a collaboration with Weststar, this partnership only covers the Maxus brand. For MG, the Chinese automaker will be handling it directly through its Malaysian subsidiary.
In fact, the company has since established an online presence for MG Malaysia including its official website, Facebook page, Instagram, and TikTok. So, now comes the important question: which MG model that SAIC will bring to Malaysia?
MG Cyberster: The first fully electric 2-seater convertible sports car in Malaysia?
Well, we surely have several candidates in our mind given the images that SAIC has chosen for MG Malaysia’s official website. Naturally, one of the brand’s recent release, the Cyberster is definitely in our list.
Inspired by the legendary MGB sports car, the 2-seater electric roadster which comes complete with soft top and electronic scissor doors is as feisty as it looks. According to the specifications listed on MG China’s website, the Cyberster can be obtained with either two-wheel-drive (2WD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD) setups.
The 2WD version features a 250kW (335hp) electric motor that also produces 475Nm of torque. With a top speed of 195km/h, this variant can go from 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds.
On the other hand, the all-wheel-drive (AWD) variant of Cyberster offers much higher peak performance at 400kW (536hp) alongside 725Nm of torque. Not surprisingly, it can accelerate from 0-100km/h much faster at just 3.2 seconds.
Depending on respective variants, the Cyberster has a battery capacity of up to 77kWh. This allows it to deliver up to 580km of range although this is based on the much more lenient CLTC standards.
The specs sheet on MG China’s website did not specify the charging capability of the Cyberster at the moment though. As for its other notable features, the list includes a triple screen setup, an Unreal Engine-based Zebra Cyber infotainment system that runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 processor, and a Bose sound system.
On a related note, the electric sports car will indeed be making a stop in Malaysia as part of its 7-month-long Charging Into The Future journey from London to Shanghai. So, don’t be surprised to see a red Cyberster on our highway later this year.
MG4 Electric: A more mainstream offering
Despite the excitement that the Cyberster can bring to the table, it might not be the first MG EV that SAIC will release in Malaysia though. Instead, a more modest model such as the MG4 Electric seemed to be the more likely candidate to lead the brand’s return to Malaysia.
After all, this EV has previously been spotted performing road tests in Malaysia. Also known as the MG Mulan in China, MG4 has been made available as a locally assembled offering in both Thailand and Indonesia. However, it is unclear for now if the SAIC has a similar plan for Malaysia.
According to the specs sheet from MG Thailand and Indonesia, the MG4 released over there comes standard with a rear-wheel-drive setup that is powered by a 170kW (228hp) electric motor that also provides 250Nm of maximum torque. There was no mention of its century sprint timing though although it is quite obvious that this electric compact SUV is no match for the Cyberster.
When it comes to range, the MG4 can deliver up to 425km based on the NEDC standards. The variants launched in Thailand and Indonesia have been equipped with a 51kWh battery pack.
SAIC didn’t provide in-depth details regarding the charging capability for the MG4 in both markets aside from the fact that it takes around 35 minutes for the EV to go from 30% to 80% via a DC fast charger.
MG ZS EV: Suitable for the entry-level market?
Another model that has been subtly highlighted on MG Malaysia’s website is the MG ZS EV. For local EV enthusiasts out there, you should be familiar with this model as quite a number have been brought to Malaysia by grey importers since a few years ago.
Also available in both Thailand and Indonesia, the ZS EV is equipped with a 130kW (174hp) electric motor that has a maximum torque of 280Nm. Unlike the MG4, this model comes with the more traditional front-wheel-drive setup instead.
With its 50.3kWh battery pack, SAIC claimed that the ZS EV can deliver an NEDC-rated range of 403 km. Once again, the company didn’t detail the charging features for this model but the official websites for MG Thailand and Indonesia said that you need 30 minutes of charging time to top-up the vehicle’s battery from 30% to 80%.