Is the MG4 XPower the first electric hyper hatch? | GRR Cars of the Year 2023

15th December 2023
Ethan Jupp

It's been an incredibly exciting year for the motoring industry. We here at GRR have driven so many brilliant cars over the past 12 months, and everything we’ve always loved is still right here, it’s just arguably better than it’s ever been. To evidence our point, we’ve pulled together nine cars that we consider to be among the very best of 2023, and we’re going to celebrate their brilliance right here at Goodwood.

MG’s return to the fore in the UK has been a curious one. It’s actually been back here properly for ten years, beginning with the MG3 hatchback but, barring a few EV megadeals on the ZS, it’s the excellent MG4 that’s made real waves. Folding money cheaper than rivals, good range and a great drive, the competence of the normal version made the hot XPower a shoe-in for us.


It really is hot, too, packing 435PS (320kW) or, in other words, more power than the V8-powered E92 BMW M3 and first-generation Audi R8. The nature of its delivery of course couldn’t be more different, with an electric motor feeding each axle with instant silent shove. So yes, this is a family hatchback that will slingshot to 62mph in 3.8 seconds. You wouldn’t know by looking at it that such furious performance that hides within, though. There are a few orange bits, some badging and a special green paint scheme (if you option it) but it’s a good-looking thing all the same.

In terms of what’s going on underneath, the springs and dampers have undergone a few changes, as have the anti-roll bars and steering. The added power means you’ll be thankful for bigger brakes. The most significant addition in terms of dynamics however, is the Dynamic Cornering Control System, which features a locking differential and allows a degree of torque vectoring to all four wheels. Will it trouble a Rimac? Of course not. But there’s enough proper engineering underneath to take the XPower seriously.


That 0-62 number might be impressive but it’s when you’re already moving and want extra motion it really becomes something. Moving from 30 to 60 is more like vaulting your body into a fourth dimension. It’s the kind of extraordinary acceleration you become briefly addicted to.

Ben Miles Managing Editor, GRR

It’s what the XPower symbolises, however, that makes it one of the most important cars of this year for enthusiasts. This is one of the first proper cracks at an affordable performance EV, alongside the likes of the Abarth 500e and Mini Cooper SE. We need to pay attention to these cars, examine them closely and critique them fiercely, for how they are received will dictate what is to follow. Alpine A290 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 N, over to you…

Be sure to watch the Goodwood Road and Racing Cars of the Year video when it launches on Friday 15th December.

Photography by Joe Harding.

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