British-based, Chinese-owned MG Motor has revealed the EX4 all-electric hot hatch concept in a short Twitter video posted yesterday, ahead of the car’s official debut at this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The over-the-top hatchback is based on the road-going MG4 XPower, which is powered by a dual-motor setup making 429 bhp and up to 442 pound-feet (600 Newton-metres) of torque. The SAIC-owned automaker didn’t reveal the concept car’s specs, but it did say that both the street-legal MG4 XPower and the upcoming Cyberster electric roadster will be present at Goodwood, next to the radically styled, rally-inspired EV.
Wearing a massive front splitter, enlarged wheel arches, a great big green spoiler at the back, and a full-width diffuser, the zero-emissions concept pays homage to the brutal Metro 6R4 Group B rally car from the 1980s which was powered by a central-mounted 3.0-litre V6 engine making up to 410 bhp and sending power to all four wheels via a five-speed manual transmission.
Gallery: MG EX4 Social Media Reveal
Images of the interior haven’t been revealed in the short video, so there’s still something left to be unveiled at Goodwood.
The original dirt-loving Metro got a podium finish at the 1985 Lombard RAC Rally but was behind two Lancia Delta S4s, which also made their debut at the event. In the end, however, the car’s newly developed V6 engine had many teething problems and the 6R4 failed to complete any of the subsequent 1985 stages, and in 1986 Group B was banned, making the outrageous hatchback useless, as the Group A that followed limited the engine size to 2 litres and 300 bhp.
However, the rally Metro found later success in rallycross events, while the standard Metro was one of Britain’s most popular cars throughout its production life between 1980 and 1997, selling roughly 1.5 million units in the UK.
Getting back to the all-electric MG EX4, it’s highly unlikely that the Chinese–owned automaker will ever release a road-legal version of it, seeing how the front splitter alone would make any safety advocate shiver thinking about the potential harm it could cause to pedestrians, but it’s nice to see that the British brand’s past is being reinterpreted for the modern age.