Trevor Collett | May 6, 2016

MG may be a brand on hiatus in Australia, but a new model unveiled in the UK this week could be the springboard the carmaker is looking for to relaunch here.

Enter the MG GS - a new model which gives the carmaker a fresh player in the booming compact SUV segment.

The GS also introduces an automatic transmission to the reborn British-but-Chinese-owned MG brand for the first time.

The auto - a six-speed dual clutch unit - would no doubt assist its sales credentials in Australia, and will be offered to British customers connected to a 1.5 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine making around 125kW and 250Nm.

Buyers will need to opt for the range-topping model to get the auto, however, with a manual transmission fitted to lower-spec GS variants. There will be three variants in total for UK customers.

"When considering transmissions and engine choices, we listened to our customers and looked at market trends," MG’s Matthew Cheyne said.

"It's not only a momentous occasion to unveil our first SUV, it is also a significant moment to announce our first automatic - something many of our customers have been waiting for, and so we're thrilled to be offering it to them."

Mr Cheyne said pricing would be consistent with MG’s other models, the MG3 and MG6, suggesting that affordability will be key.

More will be revealed next month when the MG GS is officially launched in the UK, but both front- and all-wheel-drive versions are expected to be part of the range. A 110kW/350Nm 1.9 litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine could also be on the cards.

Whether the GS arrives in Australia or not remains to be seen. MG was planning to relaunch its one and only model for Australia to date - the midsized MG6 sedan - last month, but no revised relaunch date has been revealed in its place.

Stay tuned to TMR for more.

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