Is the MG Cyberster electric sportscar the MGB of the 2020s?

MG Motor has released sketches of its new electric sports car concept, the Cyberster. The drawings lead to a question – could it be the spiritual successor to the classic MGB sports car of the 1960s or a successor to the more recent MG TF?

Don’t dismiss this as wild speculation as one of the influential design bosses at SAIC had expressed the desire to have a roadster, and an electric one at that, just 3 years ago.

At the preview of the MG E-Motion concept car in April 2017, Shao Jingfeng, the current Vice President of Design at SAIC told the Australian media that a pure electric MG roadster for the new era is being “dreamed up” by the design chief.

1965 MGB Convertible at the MG Owners Meet & Drive at 21 Gun Salute Rally
1965 MGB Convertible at the MG Owners Meet & Drive at 21 Gun Salute Rally in Feb 2018 in India. The MGB is MG’s and Britain’s most popular roadster with about 400,000 copies produced.

“This is my desire. I would love to have this type of car for MG again,” Jingfeng told Australian publication Drive.com.au, which reported the interaction in a story titled ‘MG B roadster to be revived.’

Drive.com.au reports that the designer admitted the skateboard-style platform underpinning the E-Motion could be downsized to create the base for the battery-powered convertible. He is reported to have conceded that a smaller battery pack would be needed to preserve the handling but that wouldn’t bother customers in this segment as sportscars are usually driven shorter distances and used less frequently than a family car.

“I will try and convince the management we can do this car,” he signed off.

The sketches released by the SAIC Design reveal a long bonnet, sharply raked rear and a roofless design, but that’s not in anyway to say that it resembles MG’s famed convertible. LED headlamps have an oval design and at the rear and a LED tail bar runs across the car’s width. The MG logo comes illuminated on both the ends of the car. The concept is in its early stages with the car having its presence only in the sketches.

MG hasn’t talked about producing the two-door electric sports car yet but if it does take it to production, the Cyberster could be a descendant of the MG B classic car. No other details of the Cyberster have been released but the electric concept is said to be featuring 5G connectivity and advanced Level 3 autonomous driving technologies.

As per Wikipedia, the MGB was in production from 1962 to 1980, and spawned many different bodystyles and engine options through its eventful lifecycle. The regular model featured a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine that made 95 hp and 150 Nm of torque, and was able to achieve a top speed of over 160 km/h. At the other end was an eight-cylinder version in the form of the MG B GT V8 that came fitted with an aluminium block 3.5-litre Rover V8 engine in 1973.

The MGB was known as one of the easiest sportscars to own and were largely regarded as reliable, well-built with spares easy to find.

The MG TF (based on the revised MG F platform) came out in 2002 and was in production until 2011, first under the MG Rover Group in Longbridge, UK and then by subsequent Chinese owners Nanjing Automobile Group in Nanjing, China. The TF was available with 1.6L and 1.8L petrol engines with the top-spec version producing 158 hp & 174 Nm.