So far, 2020 has been relatively quiet for MG, but that's because they're gearing up for 2021. But what is the British-Chinese automaker prepping for next year? It's something big, literally.
By next year, MG Philippines will be ready to roll out the RX8. No, it bears no relation to the similarly-named Mazda sports car. The RX8 is a mid-sized SUV that's as big as a Ford Everest, and we mean that.
At 4,923 mm long, it's even bigger than the aforementioned Ford. Among its peers, it's the second-longest at just a few millimeters short of the Chevrolet Trailblazer. Like a true SUV, the RX8 rides on a truck chassis, making this MG China's first real entry in the mid-size SUV arena. So, what does it have to offer?
The MG RX8 is simply a rebadged version of the Roewe RX8 sold in China. Looking at the spec sheet, it seems that there is only one engine option. Instead of the usual turbodiesel, the RX8 uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. It does pack a healthy amount of power as it makes 221 PS and 360 Nm of torque. The only transmission choice is a six-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is the standard drivetrain, while four-wheel-drive is an option.
However, there is a similar model sold in India. Dubbed the Gloster, it's bigger than the RX8, but it shares the same frame underneath. Unlike the China-spec model, the Gloster is available with a turbodiesel. It's a 2.0-liter mill that's good for 218 PS and 480 Nm of torque. If that engine fits in the Gloster, there is a chance that it can slot under the RX8's hood.
Other stats? MG rates the ground clearance at 202 mm, which is less than the established SUVs such as the Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Montero Sport. However, they claim that the RX8 has a wading capacity of 800 mm, despite the lower clearance. The four-wheel-drive system also packs proper hardware, which includes Auto, Snow, Off-Road, Sport, 4-Low, and 2-High.
As for features, we won't know for sure until MG Philippines launches the SUV. But given the MG cars and crossovers pack a lot of standard equipment on-board, we're expecting the same for the RX8. In foreign markets, the RX8 has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless charging, and a lot of leatherette surfaces.
For now, all we know is that the SUV will be launched sometime next year. As for the exact date, that's still yet to be determined. That said, it is likely that the RX8 could arrive in local showrooms by the first half of 2021.