Nov 6, 2008

Spy Shot: China's Roewe Building an SUV for MG?

Casting their devious nets even farther afield than usual, our spy shooters have just checked in with a new SUV mule from China’s Roewe that could find its way onto the European market branded as an MG. Think that’s not quite confusing enough? Well the Chinese ute with British marque pretensions is actually based on a vehicle from none other than South Korea’s SsangYong, the much-loved Kyron. Welcome to the global market kids.

So, the truth is we don’t really know much about the SsangYong on which this mule originates but our sources tell us that it has been tweaked to be a bit more attractive than the root vehicle, thanks to changes in the front end, side windows, and the rear treatment. The new Roewe will carry on with the same engine range offered in its forbearer, meaning a 2.0-liter diesel unit with 141 horsepower and a 2.7-liter diesel with 165 horsepower, both hooked to an automatic transmission. Two-wheeled and four-wheeled versions of the SUV will be available.

And the MG tie-in? Well, Roewe’s parent company SAIC is still trying to make a go of reviving the storied British automaker, largely through the reanimation of its former plant in Longbridge, UK. Former MG and Rover products have been freshened and sold in China already under the Roewe nameplate, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that the company may bring this vehicle to Europe under the better known MG brand. Only time will tell.

Scroll down to read the shooter’s own words and be sure to check out our gallery of images up above. 

Here are the best spy shots so far of the new SUV from Chinese carmaker Roewe taken in a smaller town in China. Based on the SsangYong Kyron, we can notice some changes. Compared to the Kyron there is a completely new front, which actually looks better. They also made a change to the rear side window and of course they changed the ugly rear of the Kyron. The roof spoiler must be loved by both SsangYong and Roewe designers because they kept that one on the car.

The Roewe actually looks pretty decent, but it will never win a prize for its design. There are even rumors that the Roewe SUV will be branded as a MG for the European market.

Engines are likely to be the same as in the SsangYong Kyron, meaning a 2.0 liter diesel engine with 141 horsepower and a 2.7 liter diesel with 165 horsepower. Both will be available with an automatic gearbox, and you will also be able to choose from 2WD and 4WD versions.

Expect it to hit the showrooms during 2009.

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