MG's electric Cyberster: performance specs confirmed at 2024 Geneva show

Published: 27 February 2024 Updated: 27 February 2024

► Production-spec Cyberster arrives in Geneva
► Electric roadster’s performance specs announced
► Set to cost £50,000-plus in the UK

The production-spec MG Cyberster sports car has made a public debut at the 2024 Geneva motor show, with MG confirming some more of the electric roadster’s official performance specs.

MG’s new Cyberster has been eagerly awaited, as MG returns to form with a proper two-seat sports car. Keep reading for all we know about the new Cyberster.

Tell us about the car

It’s very rare for a car to be unique, but that’s the case with this zero emissions drop-top (during use): when it goes on sale in 2024, it’ll be the only one of its kind. Though it must be said Elon Musk got there first with the Lotus-based Tesla Roadster in 2008.

MG’s Cyberster will rival the BMW Z4 M40i, a six-cylinder petrol costing £56,475. Expect the MG to come in beneath that, while still priced above £50,000. 

Designed in Britain, engineered in China

MG is owned by SAIC, China’s biggest car manufacturer, which inherited the sports car brand and part of the Longbridge factory site when it merged with then-owners Nanjing Automobile in 2007. UK assembly continued for a while, with the final MG sports car, the TF, briefly revived using Chinese kits from 2007 to 2011.

SAIC still runs a small engineering centre at the former Mini plant, carrying out European homologation work and suspension tuning for cars such as the 4 EV. But its Advanced Design studio is in Marylebone, London, where the design director, Carl Gotham, had longed to revive the MG sports car after he joined the company in 2009.  

‘When I took over advanced design in 2017, our satellite studio developed concepts for a sports car as a side project,’ says Gotham. 

The project got real momentum when the team aligned its roadster ideas with SAIC’s electrification ambitions, and built some scale models that won approval. Then in 2018 designer Rob Lemmens sketched a proposal that management chose to be the brand’s concept at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show – and this Cyberster show car became the inspiration for the production model (shown as scale model below).

Cyberster: from concept to production

While the concept could be mistaken for Batman’s weekend wheels, many of its show-stopping features are carried over to the more conventional final car, including the powered scissor doors, arrow-head taillights and front and rear end graphics. 

‘The production Cyberster still has some classical elements like the proportion and the fender treatments, but they’re all executed in a contemporary and modern way,’ says Gotham (pictured below).

With its long bonnet, the MG could be harbouring a combustion engine in that nose, giving those traditional front-engined, rear-drive proportions. And that classicism is enhanced by the curvaceous front and rear wings.

How big is the Cyberster?

There’s nothing conventional about this roadster under the skin, however: batteries from Chinese supplier CATL are stowed in the floorpan between the wheels. The wheelbase is more than 20cm longer than a Z4’s and the car’s wider too, to harbour sufficient cells.

It also means the Cyberster – which is almost identical in length to a Porsche 911 – stands a fraction taller than rivals. But the designers have tried to disguise the higher beltline with a black gloss hoop ringing the cockpit, which helps give the impression that the shoulders are lower than in reality.

A Kamm tail is designed to trip off the air to reduce drag, and the rear decklid hides the fabric roof compartment and the motor to power it. The model rolls on 20-inch rims, with a seven hoop, multi-coloured design reminiscent from the concept, and Brembo brake calipers visible behind.

MG Cyberster: range and performance

MG took to the 2024 Geneva motor show – months after the car’s initial reveal – to confirm some of the car’s performance specifications.

Expect 64kWh and 77kWh batteries (gross capacity); the bigger pack powers a 310bhp rear-drive model with an emphasis on long distance touring. It’s tipped to have a range of 330 miles, and crack 0-62mph in around 5secs.  

Two power variants for the new Cyberster have been announced: a single motor and a dual motor version. The single motor model develops 335bhp and 350lb ft, good for a 5.2sec 0-62mph time.

The dual-motor (for electric all-wheel drive) model develops 536bhp and 535lb ft of torque, dropping that 0-62mph sprint time down to a blistering 3.2sec and a top speed of 124mph. For reference, a BMW Z4 makes 340bhp from its straight-six petrol, sufficient for a 4.5sec sprint from standstill to 62mph.

And with a £50,000+ price tag, expect the Cyberster to be very well equipped. ‘There’s no point in doing an entry version,’ says a source. ‘So it’s electric doors, electric roof, all the screens and all the kit. It’s just a question of whether owners want to go really fast – or crazy fast!’

What about the interior?

The two-seat cockpit is driver-oriented, with a hanging centre console separating the two occupants. The door release buttons are sited at the base of this, while gears – Drive, Reverse, Neutral and Park – are engaged via four buttons, Lamborghini-style. 

MG stresses this isn’t the finished cockpit and is being coy with images: one reason is that the yoke steering wheel is unlikely to be offered in the UK. Given the Cyberster doesn’t have steer-by-wire (coming soon on Toyota and Lexus EVs), half-a-wheel might work in countries with mile after mile of straight highway but would prove a hindrance on UK B-roads. And a normal steering wheel will ruin the sightlines to the model’s three screens, set low and wrapped around the driver.

The cockpit feels very modern compared with those ageing combustion engine roadsters’ interiors. And those sports cars are a dwindling bunch: the Mazda MX-5, and more pertinently BMW Z4 and Porsche 718 Boxster are the sole key players in the market, with the Audi TT and Jaguar F-type this year following Mercedes’ SLK into the history books. But from summer 2024, the MG sports car will ride again – and kickstart the £50k electric sports car niche.

For more on the Cyberster concept, read on…


The MG Cyberster Concept

The new MG roadster was prefaced by a 2021 concept called the Cyberster. It was the work of China’s SAIC design department and developed at the MG Advanced Design Centre in London. It’s a synthwave, pure-electric reimagination of the classic MGB Roadster which laid the foundations for the near production ready car leaked above.

Like its grandfather, the concept features a long, swooping bonnet – but that’s about where the similarities end. There are loads of bang-up-to-date design touches like supercar-style nacelles behind the passengers and an unusual lightbar at the rear, seemingly lifted straight from the Polestar Precept concept.

There are a few Union Jack LED details peppered around the car, too, like those used on the MINI hatchback. MG is also keen to point out the concept’s gaming-inspired dashboard, pop-up headlights and cockpit that separates driver and passenger like the 1960’s Batmobile.

MG’s performance claims for the concept are impressive. It says it’ll be able to sprint from 0–62mph in less than three seconds, while its maximum range stands at 500 miles. We reckon the former claim is realistic but, given MG’s current battery technology and its budget-friendly ethos, the production Cyberster’s range could reduce by as much as 50 percent.

Carl Gotham, director of the SAIC Design Advanced studio in London, said: ‘The Cyberster is a bold statement that looks strongly into MG’s future, touching on our heritage but more importantly building on our technology and advanced design.’

In August 2022, MG released a new video which seemed to tease a production version of its Cyberster Roadster concept. At around one minute long, the video doesn’t provide a huge amount of information, but it gave a few hints at the new car’s design features. The biggest news from the clip was that the production EV will be chunkier than the concept and it might get a pair of butterfly doors. You can watch the video below.

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, gamer, serial Lego-ist, lover of hot hatches

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