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New MG4 EV electric hatchback: 443bhp range-topper revealed in China

MG Mulan Triumph Edition previews hot MG4 and hits 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds

MG Mulan Triumph Edition

​The MG4 EV may have made headlines recently for its low starting price, but now the rumoured performance version has been unveiled in China. There, it’s called the MG Mulan Triumph Edition, but we already know it’s called the MG4 here and the Triumph Edition name probably won’t feature.

Little seems to have changed in the styling department. The main difference seems to be orange brake calipers, while the wheels are an inch bigger than standard and have a different design. Three cameras positioned at the front (instead of the one fitted to our Trophy test car) may point to increased driver assistance technology. On the inside, Alcantara upholstery for the seats and steering wheel is fitted.

The MG4 flagship gets a dual-motor powertrain, with a motor on each axle giving the car all-wheel drive. Combined, you get 443bhp, which enables a 0-62mph time of just 3.8 seconds. That’s Tesla-quick, not to mention fast enough to compete with the most rapid petrol hot hatchbacks. The hot MG4 should prove to be a close rival for the Smart #1 Brabus.

You get the same 64kWh battery as in the standard car, which is good for a range of 286 miles – albeit on the Chinese emissions test that’s a little more lenient than the WLTP test in Europe. On the Chinese test, the standard MG4 recorded a 323-mile range, compared to 281 for the same car in WLTP testing. We’d expect the hot version to top out at around 250 miles on the equivalent test.

Over here, the MG4 hatchback costs from £25,995. There’s no mention of cost for the high-performance version yet. Three versions are available to UK buyers at the time of writing; a Standard Range model and a Long Range version that’s available in two trim levels. Its price means it will slot in as one of the UK’s cheapest electric cars, costing less than a Nissan Leaf and much less than the Volkswagen ID.3.

As MG’s first zero-emissions hatchback, the MG4 EV will serve as the brand’s rival to the likes of the Volkswagen and Nissan, plus the Cupra Born and Renault Megane E-TECH Electric, with the electric family car boasting a range of up to 281 miles.

SE models, available with both battery options, get automatic LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors, climate control, digital dials and a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. SE Long Range costs £28,495, £2,500 more than the SE Standard Range, and also gets active grille shutters to improve efficiency.

The Trophy trim level is only available in Long Range form and costs £31,495. This higher spec is marked out by a black roof, a spoiler and tinted windows, while extra equipment includes heated front seats, sat nav, a 360-degree camera, wireless phone charging and additional safety features like blind-spot monitoring. Six paint colours are available across the range.

Both MG4 powertrain options use a single electric motor on the rear axle. The entry-level car will get a 51kWh battery and 167bhp electric motor for a range of 218 miles on the industry-standard test cycle, according to MG.

The Long Range versions get a larger 64kWh battery and 201bhp power output; enough to cover 281 miles on a charge (270 for Trophy) and record a roughly eight-second 0-62mph time. The 64kWh battery can also be charged at up to 135kW, enabling a 10-80% top-up in 35 minutes.

MG has already said more variants of the electric hatchback are being planned, and we expect these will include models that can go even further on a charge.

The MG4 EV’s Modular Scalable Platform (MSP) will be used by parent company SAIC Motor for EVs of various sizes, ranging from hatchbacks to SUVs and vans, and is expected to serve as the underpinnings for the next generation of electric MG cars - including the Cyberster roadster.

The new platform can accommodate battery packs ranging from 40 to 150kWh in capacity, wheelbases up to 3.1 metres, over-the-air updates and battery-swapping capability – like NIO’s electric cars. Plus, it’s due to receive an 800-volt electrical system in due course, for faster charging. Exactly which of these features will appear on the MG4 EV is unclear for now.

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