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First look at new MG 4 electric hatchback

MG is expanding its range of electric cars once again, this time with a zero-emissions hatchback to rival the Volkswagen ID.3, Nissan Leaf and Renault Megane E-TECH Electric. The Chinese market equivalent, the MG Mulan, broke cover earlier this year, but now we’ve got our first official look at the MG 4 Electric as it’ll be called in Europe.

Currently in the final stages of development, the MG 4 Electric is slated to go on sale in Europe towards the end of the year, leading us to believe that UK sales won’t commence until early 2023 when it’ll probably be sold as the MG 4EV.

Now the brand has provided us with a clear look at its new EV, revealing a sharp front-end design featuring large side air intakes and a front splitter.

MG’s ORA Funky Cat rival also has short overhangs at the front and rear, typical of modern EVs. The same goes for the rear light bar, which spans almost its entire width, flanked by a set of curved brakelights and indicators. Finally, the electric family hatch gets a slightly raised ride height, black side cladding and a split roof spoiler.

Inside, the MG 4 pairs a small digital driver’s display with a central dashboard-mounted touchscreen, beneath which is a row of physical controls. The two-spoke steering wheel also gets physical buttons, while the gear selector can be found on the floating center console alongside what’s likely to be a wireless charging pad.

At just under 4.3 meters long, 1.8 meters wide and 1.5 meters tall, the MG 4 is roughly the same size as its future rivals the ID.3, Megane E-TECH Electric and Vauxhall Astra-e. But, MG has emphasized the amount of interior space on offer thanks to a brand-new, EV-specific platform and a thin 110mm battery pack.

The MG 4’s Modular Scalable Platform (MSP) can be used by parent company SAIC Motor for EVs of various sizes, ranging from hatchbacks to SUVs and vans, and is expected to serve as the underpinnings for the next generation of electric MG cars.

The new platform can accommodate battery packs ranging from 40 to 150kWh in capacity, wheelbases up to 3.1 metres, over-the-air updates and battery swapping capability, like NIO’s electric cars. Plus, it is due to receive an 800-volt electrical system in due course, for faster charging. Exactly which of these features will appear on the MG 4 is unclear for now.

We do know that from launch, the MG 4 will be offered with two motor and battery combinations, both using a single electric motor on the rear axle. Entry-model cars will get a 51kWh battery and 167bhp electric motor for a range of 217 miles on the WLTP test cycle, according to MG.

Longer range versions of the MG 4 get a 64kWh battery and 201bhp power output; enough for a 280-mile range and roughly eight seconds 0-62mph time. That said, MG has said more variants of the electric hatch are being planned, which we expect will include models that can go even further on a single charge.

An all-wheel-drive version of the MG 4 is also in the works, with this more potent variant potentially capable of 0-62mph in closer to four seconds, as this was the claimed acceleration figure for the MG Mulan. But that’s just speculation for now. No details about the car’s charging speed have been revealed either.

We expect more UK-specific details about the MG 4 will be revealed as we approach the car’s European launch this winter. In terms of pricing, around £28,000 for an entry-level standard range model seems likely, rising to over £30,000 for those fitted with the 64kWh battery.

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