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Beijing Auto Show: MG Icon

Yes, it's another SUV! This time it's MG's turn...

MG has chosen the Beijing Auto Show to announce to the world that they have completely forgotten how to design cars. Well, that’s what we are going to assume because when they revealed the Icon, it looked as if something had gone wrong with the graphics program. Any car that manages to make a Nissan Juke look attractive has got some serious issues.

Designed to be a small 5-dr SUV/crossover, the Icon is based on the MG5 platform which means front wheel drive and 1.5 litre engines, with a diesel variant to follow. The thing is, it doesn’t matter if it came with a 300 bhp V6 if it looks the way the concept does.

The rear haunches take obvious inspiration from the Juke, but everywhere else is frankly a mess. MG have decided to take the retro design angle, but have based this high-riding SUV on the MG  B from the 1970s. The rear is the most successful, with the long rear window aping that of the MGB GT along with the curved rear end. The front and rear also get chrome bumper extensions that mimic the chrome bumper overriders of the B as well.

But the front is where the majority of the problem lies. They’ve used an MGB style grille and the bumper extensions and to our eyes it just doesn’t work. With the modern headlights they’ve obviously tried to do what Mini have managed with the Countryman but as an overall design it just really doesn’t work, which is a real shame as we are fans of the MG brand. It actually looks much better in the CGI renderings than in the real shots too.

A target price of roughly £16,000 has been mentioned with the majority of manufacturing conducted in China followed by final assembly at MG's Longbridge factory in Birmingham, UK.

We just really hope they take it back to the drawing board first or it will be yet another flop for the re-launched MG brand.

Images courtesy of MG

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more