At the 2018 Beijing Motor Show, MG showed a promising glimpse into its future with the X-Motion Concept.
At the time, the Chinese-owned company said the sleek-looking design study would preview a flagship SUV for the brand. That’s exactly what happened, as the concept morphed into the MG HS crossover that launched in China last summer. But the automaker has bigger plans for the HS and recently started testing prototypes in Scandinavia with an eye to launching it in the UK as well.
The MG HS will sit above the ZS in the carmaker’s UK lineup and will effectively replace the GS. Interestingly, the latter will be discontinued after just four years on the market. While the right-hand-drive HS prototype spotted by our photographers was fully camouflaged, we already know what it looks like as it’s already on sale in China. As with the X-Motion study, the HS features a side window line that climbs towards the rear of the vehicle for a sporty effect.
Smooth transition from concept vehicle to production model
However, the lateral windows are taller on the production model than on the study and the door handles are conventional — as opposed to the concept’s retractable handles. The HS SUV also ditches the study’s sleek rearview cameras for regular side mirrors.
The bulged rear haunches have survived, though, as has the sharp-looking front end that features a 3D grille with a jewel-like finish and sleek headlights. The rear end sports similar taillights as the X-Motion concept, but the bumper with a diffuser-like insert has been understandably dropped. Still, the big oval exhaust pipes have stayed. Kudos to MG for sticking close to the study’s design, despite the inevitable changes required by the transition to production.
2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine at launch, electrified versions later
Under the hood, the UK-spec MG HS is expected to feature a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine rated at 231PS (228hp) and 360Nm (266lb-ft) of torque. As with the Chinese-spec model, a six-speed manual transmission should be standard, with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic available as an option.
For now, it’s unclear whether the smaller 1.5-liter turbo-four will make it to the UK but electrified versions are certain to follow later. When it goes on sale in the UK later this year, the base MG HS should be front-wheel drive, with an AWD version available as an option.
Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly claimed that the prototype previewed a production model called X-Motion; as some of our readers pointed out, the camouflaged car is indeed the UK-spec MG HS so we updated the article accordingly