Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Powering Ahead

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Powering Ahead

Article excerpt

Hometown heroes came to the fore at Shanghai motor show this week.

Taking the spotlight were China's automotive powerhouse, SAIC - which has MG and LDV brands in Australia - and Great Wall Motors.

Some local manufacturers presented vehicles that used other major brands as "design inspiration". That is, almost identical panel for panel - Landwind's X2 could pass for a Mercedes-Benz GLA.

The big players showed models with vastly improved build quality and innovation.

RAISING THE BAR

MG is promising a dynamic SUV duo over the next year. Leading the way is a replacement for the GS, a mid-sizer that competes against the Mazda CX-5 and Nissan X-Trail.

Looking high-end in range-topping Trophy specification, the updated version comes with completely new sheetmetal. Tweaked transmissions are fitted to carryover 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines.

Inside and out the vehicle looks a class above what's previously worn the Chinese manufacturer's badge.

MG's Pavel Meck said MG wasn't looking to move upmarket "but the product offering will be considerably evolutionary". The new model will arrive in Australia late this year or early next.

LDV took the wraps off its D60 SUV which has seating options for two, six or seven. It's not yet confirmed for right-hand drive markets, yet spokesman Edward Rowe said the local arm would certainly be interested as it would fall into the mid or lower segment of the market.

PLUGGING IN

Joining the rapidly expanding electric party next year will be the fully electric MG eZS (pictured above). It's based on Australia's biggest selling MG, the ZS, and has a range of 335km. MG says the battery can be recharged to 80 per cent capacity within 30 minutes using a fast charger.

The eZS outputs are 110kW/350Nm and it can sprint from standstill to 50km/h in 3. …

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