The MG brand is synonymous with sporty droptops in the US. For decades, the British brand exported two-seaters to satiate the convertible (and coupe) needs of Baby Boomers, but there hasn't been a new MG on America's roads in a long time. However, there is an outside chance that the now Chinese-owned company could make a return to the US... and with a sports car in the lineup, no less.

According to company insiders speaking to Edmunds, MG's parent, SAIC, has a new sports car on the agenda at its new Shanghai design studio. Pens likely haven't even touched paper yet to shape the new model, but concepts like the Icon (pictured above) indicated that the new designers at least have some idea of how to reinterpret the brand's classic looks for modern roads (how successful their vision is remains an open question). As an even longer-term goal, SAIC would like to relaunch MG in the US with the sports car and other more mainstream models, according to Edmunds.

Coming to the US might not have anything to do with actually being successful in the market. Industry analyst Dave Sullivan of AutoPacific tells Autoblog, "This is a validation more than a sales strategy." The Chinese market continues to grow, but being able to market vehicles as being good enough for Western consumers brings with it a valuable sort of cachet. Still, it's a long shot. "Look at the struggles of Alfa Romeo," said Sullivan. That brand has been trying to relaunch in the US for years with little or no success with the weight of Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles behind it. And certainly, these sorts of "return to US" rumors crop up periodically every few years for once-offered marques like MG, Citroën and Renault, among others.

MG's return might not be completely out of the question, though. SAIC already has a US headquarters in Birmingham, Michigan and an MG model lineup in the UK. The company doesn't appear to be afraid to leave the Chinese market if a market opportunity presents itself.



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  • 45 Comments
      lasertekk
      • 6 Months Ago
      Sorry, the MG line died with no descendants. These 'MGs' have nothing in common with the originals except for the MG plaque they stuck on the car's hood, which they purchased the rights to.
      Jaybird248
      • 6 Months Ago
      My first car was an MGA, a light, lithe, affordable wind in your hair roadster and nothing like the ugly beast shown here. If MG returns, it won''t work unless the brand returns to its roots. Either come back as what an MG was or don't bother to come at all.
      rbnhd1144
      • 6 Months Ago
      Im tired of buying chinesse goods, I wont buy a chinesse car no matter what, Todays MG is just a name they bought nothing else.
        Narom
        • 6 Months Ago
        @rbnhd1144
        You best sell your computer or phone then.
      hypermiler
      • 6 Months Ago
      MG is dead in UK where the brand sells a few hundred cars per year, so how is it supposed to return to the US?
      superlightv12
      • 6 Months Ago
      No, please stay in China. The image of MG is destroyed by your ownership.
      lostjr123
      • 6 Months Ago
      MG is already here. It is called Miata. If Alfa (or is it Fiat now) can rebadge the Miata, why not MG. Much better than the hideous thing in the photo.
      David Knowles
      • 6 Months Ago
      Fascinating to read the insightful comments of some people on here. First off, the picture of the "thing" that some have assumed is "the new sports car" is a show concept from 2012 called the Icon. It was an attempt to dial into MGB GT styling themes for a small SUV concept a la Nissan Juke. You can debate if it looks cool or crappy as much as you like, but it isn't a new MG sports car. Second, a lot of the design and engineering for MG is done in England (cue Lucas refrigerator jokes - they are so funny). This is because in China, MG owner SAIC tries to big-up the British heritage. Thirdly, think back say twenty years (if you can) and remember how well known MINI was in the USA. Yes, you got it - other than classic car fans the answer is nobody knew about a tiny Limey hatchback with quirky looks and great handling. And finally, SAIC actually makes a lot more cars than just about anybody else and is both rich and ambitious. If the story comes true, I only hope the car itself us true to the spirit of the MGA and MGB.
      kmdk78
      • 6 Months Ago
      Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!!
      Justin Campanale
      • 6 Months Ago
      One of my friends used to drive an MGB GT around ten years ago. The thing was a hoot to drive, but it was underpowered, so he ended up swapping in a GM 3800 turbo (GNX engine). From what I can see, the Chinese MGs are more of a continuation of what MG Rover was making in the 90's and 2000's than what they have historically made. Even then, they had quite a few good things going for them. The MG ZT was a turbo hot hatch based on an old Honda's platform, the MG ZS was a small sports sedan with a throaty V6, the MG ZT was a British 3 series with (IIRC) available RWD and a Ford V8, and the MG RV8 was a British Pontiac Fiero.
        Narom
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        Way to ruin an old classic by sticking in the wrong engine.
        clquake
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        GN(X) is an LD5 engine (Turbocharged). 3800 SUPERCHARGED was for front wheel drive.
      jonnybimmer
      • 6 Months Ago
      Should MG return to the US? Sure, as soon as they make cars that are worth selling. IMO, there hasn't been a single MG that's worth bringing over to the States for at least the past 20 years (sorry XPower, you were always a wannabe Sagaris in my eye). There was a time when MG made iconic cars and like the other small marques back then they were great, but today the only thing they can boast about is being "British" and even that is a weak point given their recent ties with China. Of all the European brands that deserve a chance to sell cars in the US, MG is pretty much on the bottom of the list.
        jonnybimmer
        • 6 Months Ago
        @jonnybimmer
        Whoops, I meant the XPower was a wannabe TVR. The Sagaris was produced after the XPower so isn't really fair to make the original claim.
      Avinash Machado
      • 6 Months Ago
      Yes, as long as they make fun to drive,little roadsters like they did in the past.
      IBx27
      • 6 Months Ago
      Not with the chinese knockoffs they're selling.
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