Patent images of a new MG ZS with a front charging port have emerged on China’s intellectual property website. Rather than a facelifted ZS EV, autohome.com.cn seems to think this will be the first-ever MG ZS PHEV, and it could arrive at the Chinese showrooms by December 2021.
The images show that the ZS PHEV also features the star-rider grille from the ZS EV with just a few tweaks. The bottom portion of the grille has a slim opening, and where the ZS EV was based on the pre-facelift version, the ZS PHEV is expected to be based on the current version. Additionally, the front bumper has been tweaked a little compared to the ZS. There are no fog lamps on the PHEV, and instead, vertical cuts/intakes are part of it.
From the profile images, we see that the car has tiny wheels, but the final product should use a set of 17-inch options. The rear skid plate as well has been tweaked when seen against the standard ZS.
According to Chinese media outlets, the MG ZS PHEV is expected to be powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated to an electric motor. This, combined, churns out 224 kW (305 PS/300 bhp) of maximum power and 480 Nm of peak torque. This is plenty of output for the MG ZS PHEV’s size and should be fun to drive around in. For context, the Kia Niro PHEV is powered by a 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol and electric motor combination that produces just 104 kW (141 PS/139 bhp) and 265 Nm. The Niro PHEV derives power from an 8.9 kWh battery pack that allows for a full 49 km or 30 miles of range on pure electricity according to the WLTP cycle.
European market launch
If the MG ZS PHEV were to go on sale in China by the end of 2021, the European market shouldn’t be far behind with a launch in 2022 if there is an export plan. Positioned below the MG HS PHEV, the ZS PHEV could go on sale first in the UK and Norway, where the brand is focusing on electrified cars.
MG sells six models in the UK, including three plug-in vehicles – the MG ZS EV, MG5 EV and MG HS Plug-in Hybrid, available in about 130 locations. MG’s two EVs – ZS and MG5, garnered 8.9 per cent of the UK electric car market in July. If the ZS PHEV joins the lineup, it can better feed the country’s growing demand for low-emission plug-in cars.
Featured Image Source: China National Intellectual Property Administration