MG MOTOR has announced pricing and specification of its new HS plug-in hybrid (PHEV) medium SUV checking into Aussie showrooms this month costing from $46,990 driveaway.

When the promotional driveaway pricing eventually ends, the HS PHEV will revert to a sticker price of $45,990 plus on-road costs. 

Its nearest competitor on price is the base model Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV ES ($47,990) but the Outlander cannot get close in terms of power outputs or standard equipment.

The HS PHEV is powered by MG’s turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, developing 119kW/250Nm and paired to a 90kW/230Nm electric motor to produce a combined 187kW of power and 370Nm of torque, making it one of the more powerful vehicles in its segment.

For reference, the Outlander PHEV develops 157kW/332Nm, while the upcoming Ford Escape PHEV produces 167kW/400Nm.

Drive is sent exclusively to the HS PHEV’s front wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission that provides six forward gears for the petrol engine and four for the electric motor.

The electric motor draws its power from a 16.6kWh lithium-ion battery enabling an all-electric driving range of up to 52km while the combined fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are rated at 1.7 litres per 100km and 39g/km respectively.

Sprinting from 0-100km/h is done and dusted in 6.9 seconds on the way to a 190km/h top speed.

Contrary to previous communications from the brand, only one version of the HS PHEV is being offered Down Under, the highly specified Essence trim that suits the PHEV’s status – as described by MG executives – of range flagship.

As such, the HS PHEV singled out against its stablemates by unique 18-inch wheels, rear PHEV badging and ‘Clipper Blue’ hero colour.

Standard equipment highlights include a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with built-in satellite navigation, 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, heated sports front seats, six-way power adjustable driver’s seat (four-way passenger), metal pedal trim, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, 360-degree camera, automatic LED headlights, LED tail-lights, ambient lighting, rain sensing wipers, heated power door mirrors, electric tailgate, panoramic sunroof and a six-speaker audio system.

Safety equipment consists primarily of the MG Pilot safety suite as per the rest of the of the HS range, comprising of adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic, emergency braking, lane assist system, traffic jam assist, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, intelligent headlamp control and intelligent speed assistance system.

When questions were raised as to why only one PHEV variant was being offered as opposed to the previously promised two, MG Motor Australia and New Zealand EV division general manager Danny Lenartic said the brand was constantly evaluating the market and that the HS PHEV along with the ZS EV were just the beginning of the “electric dream”.

“It’s only the beginning … we’re constantly evaluating the market and its conditions and if the market dictates that we should be exposing people to more options in the guise of a PHEV then we’ll investigate.

“It’s a sign of bigger things to come and we won’t just be stopping with these.”

If previous comments are anything to go by, those bigger things to come will almost certainly include a dedicated battery-electric (BEV) version, a vehicle first teased by MG Motor Australia New Zealand CEO Peter Ciao back at the HS’ initial launch last year.

One promise the brand has delivered on is the arrival of more powerful, all-wheel-drive (AWD) versions of the HS with the Excite X and Essence X also touching down this week.

Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, the X variants develop 168kW at 5300rpm and 360Nm at a peaky 4000rpm with drive distributed to all four wheels via a new six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission.

Priced from $37,990 and $42,990 driveaway respectively, the AWDs come with four driving modes – Eco, Normal, Sports and Custom – plus the familiar maximum attack Super Sports mode to broaden its capabilities in accordance with the all-paw drivetrain.

Despite the drive modes, combined fuel consumption of the higher-output mill is considerably thirstier than two-wheel-drive versions at 9.5L/100km compared to the 1.5’s 7.3L/100km.

In Excite X form, standard equipment highlights on the HS AWD includes 18-inch alloy wheels, the same 10.1-inch touchscreen as seen on the PHEV with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, sat-nav, reversing camera, six-speaker audio system, dual-zone climate control, leather trimmed steering wheel, paddle shifters, metal trim pedals, rain sensing wipers, LED headlights, daytime running and tail-lights, ambient lighting, electric tailgate, keyless entry, cooled front centre armrest, hill launch assist and MG Pilot safety suite.

Stepping up to the Essence meanwhile adds leather sports front seats with heating function and power adjustment, panoramic sunroof and a 360-degree camera.

According to Mr Ciao, the introduction of the AWDs is in response to customer feedback.

“Whether it’s taking the family to the local sports field, navigating urban commutes in style or escaping with friends over a weekend, the MG HS AWD perfectly complements the Australian lifestyle, and we are proud to bring this to our customers,” he said.

The Chinese brand is off to a stellar start in 2021 with overall sales for January up 162 per cent up on January last year (2408 vs 919) with the ZS compact SUV doing the bulk of the heavy lifting (1253).

2021 MG HS driveaway pricing

Core (a) $29,990
Vibe (a) $31,990
Exite (a) $34,990
AWD Excite X (a) $37,990
Essence (a) $38,990
Essence Anfield (a) $40,690
AWD Essence X (a) $42,990
Plug-In Hybrid (a) $46,990


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