2024 MG 3 Patents reveal second-gen model’s styling
Next-gen MG 3 breaks cover. Supermini sticks with petrol power as MG eyes affordability.
The design for the new MG 3 has been unofficially revealed ahead of an expected unveiling in the coming months. Trademark filings for the exterior of the second-generation supermini, due on sale next year, confirm that its design will be influenced heavily by that of both the larger MG 4 and the new MG Cyberster flagship sports car. Unlike those cars, though, the new 3 is set to stay true to its affordable billing by sticking with petrol power rather than switching to a pricier allelectric drivetrain – a decision seemingly corroborated by the new car’s lengthy front overhang, sizeable grille and filler cap at the rear that is too small to accommodate a CCS charger.
MG has not yet said when it will officially unwrap the new 3, but recent spy shots of a camouflaged prototype suggested that advanced testing was well under way and that the car was approaching production-ready status.
The petrol-powered supermini is an increasingly rare breed in the UK, following the exits of the likes of the Ford Fiesta and Kia Rio, and the current MG 3 is one of just three such cars still on sale for less than £15,000.
Its successor is tipped to adopt emissions-reducing mild-hybrid technology, which, together with wider inflationary pressures and the introduction of heavily updated interior and driver assistance technology, will make it a more expensive proposition. But MG bosses are keen that the 3 should remain one of the market’s most affordable new cars.
The current 3 is a minor player compared with the MG ZS and MG HS SUVs, having taken just 2920 sales across Europe in the first half of this year. As such, converting the MG 3 to a fully electric powertrain doesn’t make financial sense, hence its continuation as an ICE model. Speaking to Autocar recently, MG UK commercial director Guy Pigounakis said: “Developing a small electric car is only marginally cheaper than developing a bigger car. Then half the price is battery, so it becomes a £25,000 car, which is unaffordable.” The current 3 is the oldest model in the MG range, having been revealed in China back in 2011, since when it has received three facelifts. The car was launched in the UK in 2013 with a starting price of £8695. Subsequent increases means it now costs from £13,565, but it remains one of the cheapest cars on sale in the UK.
The addition of a hybrid system is likely to increase the price further, but it should still remain under £20,000.
New MG 3 will remain petrol-powered but receive hybrid tech. The shape of the new MG 3 has been revealed in a series of trademark filings.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR MG3’S RIVALS?
- CITROEN C3 About to be reinvented as a simple, cheap supermini inspired by the landmark Oli concept. Electric ë-C3 will offer a 186-mile range for around £25,000.
- DACIA SANDERO Set to gain ‘active’-tinted makeover for third-gen model in 2027, plus EV option that will prioritise affordability over long range and rapid charging.
- FIAT PANDA Tipped to be reborn for Fiat’s 125th anniversary next year, the next Panda will keep prices down by offering the, er, ‘bear necessities’.