MG Icon could be a roadster

Nissan Juke-rivalling MG Icon could eventually spawn a convertible version

MG Icon Beijing

MG's new Icon crossover concept could become the first MG roadster of the modern era, if reaction is strong to the car in China and Europe.

The Icon, designed by Brit Steve Harper working with MG design boss Tony Williams and his teams in Shanghai and Longbridge, features plenty of inspiration from the MGBs of the 70s and 80s.

Harper told Auto Express: "We asked, what would the MGB GT be like today?‚ This could be it."

"It's a thoroughly modern car, and similar in length to the old MGB, which was 4m long – about the same length as a Nissan Juke."

Just like the MGB, Harper told us that there could be a roadster version, too, although MG will wait to see what the reaction to the concept will be in the Chinese home market and in Europe.

Harper took inspiration from classic MGs for the Icon. The oversized, vertical daytime running lights at the front are said to be a modern interpretation of the MGB's overriders on its bumpers, while the grille and headlamps are also reminiscent of those from an MGB.

The exposed hinges on the boot allow for greater rear headroom inside the car, while providing another nod towards the tailgate of the MGB GT. Inside, the twin cowl on the dash is an idea borrowed from the MG TF, which makes left-hand drive and right-hand drive production easier.

However, the rear-hinged doors would be new to MG, although they may not make it to production if the Icon does.

Under the skin of the Icon is MG parent company SAIC's ZP platform that will underpin the new MG3 supermini due on sale next year. A Focus-sized MG5 is due the year after, while the MG6, currently leading the British Touring Car Championship with Jason Plato behind the wheel, should get a timely boost with diesel engines at the end of this year.

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