The replacement for the MG 3 has been spotted testing on public roads in Hungary ahead of its launch before the end of next year.
Spotted under heavy camouflage, the firm’s smallest hatchback will receive a complete redesign, with squat proportions, slimmer front and rear lights and new wheel designs.
Despite MG focusing more on electric power with the launch of the ZS EV crossover and then the Volkswagen ID 3-rivalling MG 4, the supermini will stick with petrol power when it arrives but likely with a hybrid system added to reduce CO2 emissions.
The current 3 is a minor player compared with the MG ZS and MG HS compact SUV, having taken just 2920 sales across Europe in the first half of 2023.
The figures don’t stack up to convert the MG 3 to electric power, hence its continuation as an ICE model, MG UK commercial director Guy Pigounakis told Autocar.
“Developing a small electric car is only marginally cheaper than developing a bigger car,” he said. “Then half the price is battery, so it becomes a £25,000 car, which is unaffordable.”
The current 3 is the oldest model in the MG range, having been revealed in China back in 2011, since when it has received three facelifts.
The car was launched in the UK in 2013 with a starting price of £8695. Subsequent increases means it now costs from £13,295, but it remains one of the cheapest cars on sale in the UK, just ahead of the £12,595 Dacia Sandero.
Addition of a hybrid system is likely to increase the price again, but it should still remain under £20,000.