MG6 Diesel Review
22nd November 2012
Finally we get behind the wheel of another new model to roll off the Longbridge assembly lines - no, sadly not the MG3, we'll have to wait until next year for that, but the long, long awaited Diesel MG6.
Its been a long wait, but they haven't been sat there twiddling their thumbs for the last year and a bit, its been a very busy time for SAIC. Not only have they been designing & engineering new models that we don't know about yet, but they've been investing some £250m (from 2005) into the UK and specifically into Longbridge. Yes it may not be churning out tens of thousands of cars, but the team of designers and engineers located in Birmingham have been doing all the design & development work, not only on all the Roewe and MG cars launched so far but ones we don't know about yet! They've also been developing an entire range of new engines and gearboxes from scratch. None of them are based upon someone else's engine, they're all clean-sheet designs. So they now have a complete powertrain division as well capable of developing new engines and gearboxes in house.
All of that is something that we really should be proud about. Products designed & engineered in Birmingham are now available around the world in 38 different markets covering nearly all corners of the globe. This has helped to propel SAIC to 8th in the top 10 automotive manufacturers, ahead of PSA (Peugoet / Citroen) and Suzuki, selling 3.6 million vehicles in 2010 and on target for 4 million by the year end.
So, whilst we may only have the MG6 at the moment in the UK, this will quickly change over the next 3 years or so as more models come online and the benefits of the change to their design & development processes come to fruition which will result in much closer UK/EU and China launches for new cars.
MG will also launch into selected EU markets next year from the UK with the MG6 and MG3, meaning production numbers at Longbridge will increase as the EU models will also be produced in Birmingham.
So, what's new - well, other than the in-house designed 1.9 Turbo Diesel engine, quite a bit actually. There's an all-new (also in-house designed & developed) 6 speed gearbox, revisions to be braking system including larger front discs for the Diesel going from 284mm to 295mm. There's a new Electro-Hydraulic power steering system and revisions to the suspension setup.
So all in all, they've put that time to good use it appears. The engine itself, as mentioned previously is a brand new design, designed, engineered and developed in the UK by SAIC. It has a variable scroll turbo, intelligent stop-start and smart charge technology - pretty much bang-up-to-date. The advantage the Diesel engine has had over most of the other developments done by SAIC in the UK is that it hasn't had to be designed for the Chinese market primarily as they're still heavily into their Petrols.
However this does appear to be undergoing a change as the Chinese government is pushing for Diesel to become more heavily used in their automotive market. So, with this advantage, it was developed from the get-go for the UK and EU markets, which we know are very much into diesel.
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Article Last Updated 4th December 2012