MG’s intention to inject some much-needed sportiness into the reinvented brand with a two-seat sportscar seems firmer than ever with these first official pictures of its Cyberster concept.
When we saw renderings of the first MG roadster since the MGF on April Fool’s Day this year we wondered if they were pulling our leg… It turns out the Chinese-owned company is being serious – although we still think the name is a bit silly.
Not so the rest of it, though, for the Cyberster comes with a very ambitious and future-proofed spec, one that massive parent group SAIC is well able to realise if it thinks we will buy the result. The Cyberster is fully electric and targets 0-62mph in 3.0 seconds with a 500 mile range. No other tech details are available so far.
For now, the Cyberster story is more about the design, with the release of eight photographs of what appears to be a full-size concept, probably taken in MG’s Marylebone design studio in London where the car was created.
The pictures show the Cyberster to be a compact two-seat open roadster, vivid in red with a very red-and-white interior and a driver environment more akin to that of a video driving game. No string-back driving gloves needed here…
Notable feature are the long wheelbase, zero front and rear overhangs, large wheels, vestigial windscreen and twin buttresses running back from the seats to the rear deck in true speedster style. Clearly the designers were going for a bold back-to-basics driving appeal with this car, and we think successfully.
Less successful to our eyes at least is the connection with MGs of old. The firm says the Cyberster recalls classic MG roadsters, drawing styling cues from the MGB in particular. While we are not suggesting it should have ugly black plastic bumpers like the last versions of its forebear, the connection with what for many around the world is the archetypal British sports car does seem a little tenuous, while the proliferation of glitzy LED lights everywhere is surely more Shanghai than Abingdon.
It is still a pretty dynamic looking thing and one you can easily see your mother not liking (to recall the old MGB ad campaign) for its overtly youthful exuberance.
But there’s still no word on why they have done it and whether or not they will make it, or a version of it – all questions for the executives when the car makes its physical debut at the Shanghai Motor Show on 21st April. Perhaps then they will explain the name as well…