MG Icon concept car at 2012 Beijing motor show

Published: 23 April 2012

MG's new Chinese owners showed a Nissan Juke-alike concept car called the Icon at the 2012 Beijing motor show. Its footprint is identical to that of the original MG BT.

Although a pure concept car, a spokesman confirmed that the study was a guide to what we could expect from future models from MG. 'There are no production plans at present, but this is something we could definitely do,' he said.

MG Icon: the details

The Icon was started after SAIC top brass visited the Longbridge facility in the West Midlands. 'They experienced some of the old cars - the sights, the smells - and this spurred them on to do something which nods to MG's past yet which looks to the future as well,' project chief designer Steve Harper told CAR.

MG's Icon was born - a compact, 4m long SUV-meets-coupe. It has four doors, with a suicide door layout like on the Mazda RX-8 - with no central B-pillar to impede access to the quilted red leather seats.

The Icon is dripping with acknowledgements of MGs past. 'The rear haunches are rather like the MGA and many will notice details such as the exposed tailgate hinges and the MG-style grille,' added Harper.

The retro-fest continues with the rear lights, echoing the vertical 'over-riders' seen in MG's back catalogue. Even the wheels are designed as a homage to the old wire wheels. Yet the MG Icon stil feels fresh and modern, Harper referring to it as like London's skyline - mixing old and new in an organic, natural way.

What underpins the MG Icon?

This is based on the MG 3 drivetrain. 'It's on a real floorpan,' said Harper. 'It's packaged to take passengers and engines - everything on it is feasible.'

However, MG has chosen not to issue any technical details from cloud cuckoo land. Instead, it's letting Beijing show goers just soak up the Icon's style. Which is entirely right. We could entirely imagine something very like this with more production-spec details to sell alongside the MG 6.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet