A new MGB Roadster was a favourite choice for readers when we asked which fantasy cars they most wanted to see built. In part one of our Auto Express Most Wanted top 10, our exclusive artist's impression of the MG sports car shows how it might look.
“A new MG sports car family.” That’s what David Knowles suggested in our comments section of our Most Wanted Cars preview story. Such a range would look back to the MGB, MGB GT and MG Midget, offering customers front-engine, rear-wheel drive two-seaters that would each be “instantly recognisable as a classic British roadster.”
Many of you agreed and, although we can’t make any promises, the idea does make a lot of sense considering the brand has long been known for its open-top sports cars. Fans don’t just have history on their side, either. Bosses have themselves confirmed that a new MG roadster might be on the cards, after hinting strongly at such a car following the MG Icon concept’s Beijing Motor Show debut.
In terms of appearance, MG’s current design language – as seen on the MG3 and MG6 – could make its way over, although we suspect there will be nods to the original MGB in the form of rounded headlights and a chrome bar running across the grille.
The lightweight roadster would probably be offered with a selection of small-capacity engines, possibly fitted within a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout reminiscent of the MG TF. A longer wheelbase and shorter overhangs would further mark the new car out from its predecessor, as well as helping to improve handling.
A difficult few years for MG does seem to count against the project though, and bosses won’t have forgotten how poor sales forced them to can the relaunched TF in 2011. While this failure was more likely down to the dated design than a lack of interest in the brand, Chinese-based owner SAIC now appears committed to more family-friendly models as it looks to rebuild. As a spokesman told Auto Express when the last MG roadster was axed: “There will be a new sports car, but only once the brand is re-established.”
The MGB is one of the most recognisable British sports cars ever, with many still in the hands of classic car fans worldwide. MG's B roadster was first launched in 1962 as an affordable four-cylinder sports car, and it was soon joined by the MGB GT coupe. It was a notable departure from the traditional construction of a sports car, featuring a monocoque chassis rather than having the body bolted onto a sperate frame.
Other models continued to join the range over the years as the car saw sales success, including the MGC, a version of the car featuring a larger straight-six engine, and the MGB GT V8, which of course used a Rover V8. Although production of the B stopped in 1980, the MG RV8 that appeared in the 1990s was based heavily on the MGB, too.