Back then, the MG marque and its Longbridge plant were acquired for petty cash (£53 million – less than $100 million) by Chinese automaker Nanjing Automobile – and SAIC Motor quickly engulfed the latter in 2007. From then on, through careful investments, sales have soared from less than 1,000 units in 2012. MG sells many quirky models today, including the MG4 EV introduced in Europe last summer.
Well, it comes with Standard (LFP), Long, and Extended Range (all with NMC chemistry) versions with 51, 64, and 77 kWh battery packs and up to 241 horsepower plus 320-mile (520 km) ranges. But the company also has an ace up its sleeve, called the MG4 XPower, a sort of hot hatchback with 320 kW (435 ps/429 hp) and a sprint to 62 mph (100 kph) in just 3.8 seconds – a veritable EV hot hatch.
This dual-motor AWD performance variant was launched this summer, and of course, people are curious about its actual performance in a real-world environment. If you want that, a review would be more focused and true, as the good folks over at 'carwow' on this occasion only care about the entertainment value of this MG4 XPower EV in a series of drag and roll races, plus a brake test.
Actually, this is the second time they are indulging in such shenanigans, after first pitting the surprisingly good British-Chinese EV against the much more expensive Audi e-Tron GT. Surprises abounded back then, and if you want this to happen again, it's time for Mat Watson to call upon a meeting of the ages. So, in their latest feature, the MG4 XPower went up against the seemingly immortal R35 Nissan GT-R and a previously top-tier supercar, the V10-powered Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder.
They start with the specifications, which are relatively easy to comprehend – the all-electric MG4 XPower has the least amount of ponies (435) compared to the GT-R (480) and Gallardo (520 ps), but it's also the heaviest of the bunch, tipping the scales a little more than the R35. Once they get going with the initial drag race, the first surprise becomes apparent – although the most powerful and lightweight of the bunch, the Gallardo Spyder came out dead last every time.
Secondly, the first time the MG4 XPower destroyed both supercars, but the R35 didn't have the launch control engaged. Once that was fixed, it was a lot harder to beat it – even though MG's great EV hot hatch almost edged it during the timed drag race. On to the roll races, then, as the R35 was the king of the unprepped dragstrip – while the brake test revealed the newest model easily won the skirmish. All in all, not a bad show of force from a model that could easily be derided as nothing more than a Chinese EV – when instead, it's actually a force to be reckoned with (including in terms of pricing)!