Tony O'Kane | Nov 14, 2008

It's been a while since we heard from MG, the iconic British automaker that all-but disappeared after being kicked to the kerb by former sugar-daddy BMW, only to be resuscitated by its new Chinese parent, Nanjing Automobile.

Now with a new lease on life, MG is set to debut an all-new hatchback based on China's Roewe 550 sedan, which will be the spiritual successor to the dearly-departed MG ZR.

MG_MG6_scan_02

These scanned pages from a Chinese auto magazine show MG's hatch (badged as an MG 6) for the first time, and it's safe to say that the brand's new look may entice buyers back into MG showrooms. There's a deep air dam, MG's trademark split grille and a pair of recessed foglights in the front bumper, while a set of sideskirts create the impression of a car that's much lower than it actually is. The rear hatch slopes steeply and there's also a diffuser-esque look to the rear bumper.

The interior is a straight lift off the Roewe 550, but that's hardly a bad thing. Chinese cars are quickly catching up to the rest of the world in terms of design aesthetics and the Roewe's cockpit is a prime example of this with a logically laid out instrument cluster, nicely integrated nav screen and BMW-like approach to the centre stack layout. However, that gear lever does look awfully close to the climate control buttons...

MG_MG6_scan_03 Engine choices will likely be limited to a 1.8-litre naturally-aspirated and a 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol motor, with power ranging from 90kW to 119kW. Both a manual and an automatic gearbox will be available, however there's no solid info on how many ratios each will offer. The suspension is reportedly being developed in conjunction with British engineering firm Ricardo - the same company that helped develop the Veyron's tungsten-tough twin-clutch gearbox - and production is expected to be concentrated in MG's Longbridge facility.

With the MG 6 apparently targeted right at Ford Europe's excellent Focus, it'll be interesting to see whether the Chinese-led company will be able to knock one of Europe's finest from its lofty perch. Keep that dial locked on TMR, people, we'll have more news on the MG 6 as it comes to hand.

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