2023 MG 4 X-Power electric hot hatch a step closer to Australia
The MG 4 X-Power electric car from China promises Tesla-like acceleration in a smaller, cheaper, hatchback body. It is expected to reach Australia later this year.
The 2023 MG 4 X-Power from China – which will be among the first in a new market of electric hot hatchbacks – is expected in Australian showrooms later this year, pending any delays.
The X-Power is the all-wheel-drive high-performance version of the new MG 4 electric car, with dual electric motors claimed to produce 320kW and 600Nm – and accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 3.8 seconds.
X-Power is the name given to a range of performance production and concept cars in MG’s final years of British ownership, before the company went into administration in 2005, and came under the control of Chinese car giant, the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) in 2007.
European model pictured in black, Chinese model pictured in white and green.
MG Motor Australia says the electric hot hatch remains under consideration for local showrooms, however Drive has discovered the company has already submitted the paperwork to approve the vehicle for sale in Australia.
Prices are yet to be confirmed, but it is expected to be similarly priced or dearer than the current top-of-the-range MG 4 model, the 77kWh Long Range priced from $55,990 plus on-road costs.
The MG is more powerful than Australia’s quickest petrol-powered hot hatch, the $100,000 Audi RS3, which quotes 294kW/500Nm and a 3.8-second sprint time.
It fits between the Tesla Model 3 Long Range – which quotes 366kW (according to government data) and 4.4 seconds – and the Tesla Model 3 Performance, which claims 393kW and 3.3 seconds.
MG previously quoted a power output of 330kW for the Chinese model, however this has now been revised down to 320kW for export models, and 315kW for Chinese-market versions.
The X-Power uses the 64kWh (gross capacity, or 61.7kWh useable) ternary lithium battery from middle-of-the-range MG 4 models, rather than the 77kWh long-range battery in the flagship model.
Driving range in lenient lab testing in China is claimed as 460 kilometres, compared to 520km for a rear-wheel-drive model with the same battery pack.
Chinese MG 4 X-Power.
A figure for the X-Power in more stringent European WLTP lab testing is yet to be confirmed; the standard rear-drive 64kWh model claims 435km to 450km in these conditions, depending on the wheel size and fitment of a rear spoiler.
European media reports have detailed more comprehensive changes under the skin to back up the power upgrades than initially outlined in China.
Upgrades are said to include tweaked suspension tuning, a torque-vectoring system controlled through braking, a launch-control mode, new orange brake calipers, and larger brake discs.
MG has advised Spanish media the brakes measure 345x30mm at the front, and 340x22mm at the rear – up from 300x25mm and 300x12mm respectively – with the rear discs now ventilated on the X-Power, in addition to the front discs (like the standard car).
Some reports claim the X-Power gains unique springs, dampers and anti-roll bars compared to the standard model, however this is yet to be verified.
The wheels measure 18 inches, as with 64kWh Essence and Long Range models in Australia, but they gain a new all-alloy design – rather than a simpler alloy with a plastic aero cover – and are wrapped in 235/45 R18 Bridgestone tyres, replacing the standard Continentals.
It is worth noting the Bridgestone tyres fitted are from the Turanza line – oriented at comfort and reducing noise – rather than its Potenza range aimed at performance cars.
Visual differences between standard and X-Power MG 4 models appear to be limited to the new wheel design, orange brake calipers, and white striped decals on the front bumper and side skirts.
Inside, the seats are trimmed in a mix of synthetic leather-look and Alcantara suede material, while Alcantara is used on the steering wheel and door panels.
While left-hand-drive Chinese models have been pictured with one-piece sports bucket seats, it’s believed right-hand-drive Hong Kong models – which share the standard model’s two-piece seats (with extendable headrests), but with the new trim – are more likely for Australia.
Once it is given the green light, the 2023 MG 4 X-Power is expected to reach Australia before the end of this year, alongside the standard MG 4 range.
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