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The MG - Roewe Resource

Roewe 750D vs MG7

The 750 and MG7 models from SAIC and Nanjing could be considered as rivals up until the two companies merge, but at the same time you can also see how they might compliment each other. From the design, style, market positioning and price you can see the Roewe 750 takes the high-end line, Roeweís emphasis on being a contemporary luxury brand. While the MG7 takes the good value line, with emphasized personality and movement with a full English feeling.



Both models are very different in the details. SAIC has injected the 750ís style with more contemporary elements; such as the new headlights and gentler boot line. At the front the roewe comes with two different grilles, the Audi style full depth one is found higher up the range, while the low-end models have the grille kept to a minimum.



The MG retains the brands looks, the MG name is displayed proudly upon the large sporty grille, flanked by the four headlights, fog lamps and turn signals are also separate units, unlike the 750 these are combined. The tail end of the MG is more rounded, following the overall design of the MG7 in comparison to the 750.



Both models use 215/55 R16 tyres, but the style of the alloy wheels is greatly different the sporty looking MG wheels are based on the MGZT Hairpins, while the 750Dís wheels are of an all new design (the higher models use alloys based on the 75 V8ís).



With the interior the two models, in the overall layout of the instruments, steering wheel and air vents, are very similar. And the elliptical elements of the car retain the elegant style of England.



In order to meet the tastes of domestic customers, SAIC have improved the Roewes interior so that it is more contemporary. Reduction of the use of wood in the centre consol has given the interior a more modern look, while there is still a good sense of luxury in the cabin. This new interior does look improved from the last version, though the overall look of the original was fine. It is the original style of the Rover/MG models that the new MG7 retains, with itís retro styles and colours. The whole area uses lots of wood, which gives the car the feel of a British classic car. This classic feeling is continued with the interior illumination, which is of an orange colour, rather than the 750ís predominantly white and red illumination, we find this more gentle.



Under the 750D bonnet you will find the 2.5V6, a 1.8T engine like that found in the MG7 is said to be on its way. The V6 is mated to a 5 speed automatic transmission; peak power is 135kW, while maximum tourque is 230Nm. The acceleration of the car reflects the overall good performance, 0 to 100 Km/h takes only 10.2 seconds.

The MG7 uses a 1.8 turbo engine with a 5 speed manual, the maximum power is 118kW and tourque peaks at 215Nm. The car accelerated to 100 within 10 seconds, acceleration and very good performance reminds you of the cars heritage as a British sportscar.

Both models use the BMW R&D help given to Rover, McPherson independent suspension is found up front, while Z-arm double whish bone suspension is found at the rear, inspired by the old BMW M1. This unique form of suspension provides both cars with good handling, with a very good balance between comfort and cornering ability. The MG7 has a short wheelbase and tough suspension, a trait that comes from the ZT model, this gives the car good cornering ability, the Goodyear tyres also help in this department, the steering is also very precise, making the MG7 a very fun car to drive. On uneven roads however the loss of comfort as a result of handling is also very obvious.



The 5 speed auto allows for better control of the 750Dís 2.5 litre engine, always finding the right gear and shifting very smoothly. The 750 does not fare as well in high speed corners, where body roll is more obvious, but filtration of bumpy road surfaces is better than the MG7ís.



The MG7 is full of itís British decent, and will allow users of the car to feel like they are driving a British Classic car. The Roewe 750D shows better comfort, if you are not seeking a British feeling car, then the 750ís merits in every department would make it a sounder buy.

Taken from xcar.com.cn.


Auto Express Test the Roewe 750

We've taken the wrong way on a test drive... but it was no mistake. That's because Auto Express has had exclusive access to the new Roewe - pronounced 'wrong way' - to see if the Chinese car can compete with the UK's best family saloons.

Our drive of the Rover 75-inspired 750E also comes hot on the heels of our first taste of the MG7, from Nanjing Automobile Company, which is also based on the British car.



Roewe's model, however, is built and engineered independently of the Nanjing-owned MG model. The 750E is a redeveloped 75, and is to be made on a dedicated production line being constructed by the manufacturer.

Two versions of the newcomer will be available, and they can be identified by their different front grilles. Top-spec models like the car we drove get a larger, more aggressive nose, while the base model in our main pictures looks more conservative. At the rear they are exactly the same, though, and the old 75's tail-lights have been revised.

On top of these tweaks, there's a bigger boot and a longer body - both of these changes have been made to improve the Roewe's practicality. But while overall length has increased by 116mm to 4,865mm, the kerbweight has gone down by 5kg to 1,585kg.

With no official test model available, we picked up our demonstrator from a franchised Roewe dealer in China, and were instantly impressed by the generally high standard of build quality. Our only criticism concerns the panel gaps, as the fitting of the front wings was inconsistent among the models in the showroom.

Inside, the cabin has been neatly trimmed and, as we swapped from the front to the rear seats, it became clear that there's more room for passengers than in the Rover. This is due to a 100mm increase in the wheelbase, taking it to 2,849mm.

Buyers initially have the choice of only two variants: the entry-level D or high-spec 750E. A third, the 750i, is set to join the line-up later in the year. Only one interior trim and five colours are available, although the cabin in our 750E is very tastefully finished.

The electrically adjustable seats, trimmed in cream Canadian leather, are supportive and comfortable, while wood detailing is fitted to the steering wheel, gearstick and doors.



Rear seats are comfortable and feature a large armrest, which folds down to reveal a drinks-holder and cubbyhole. But the centre passenger has to make do with a lapbelt - and that's not the only surprising omission from the model's kit tally.

While there is an LCD display in the centre console for use with the reversing camera and DVD player, sat-nav costs extra. You get MP3 and Bluetooth connectivity, but the cabin is fitted with only two airbags. The Roewe sales executive told us this was to save money, which was then reallocated to cover the cost of steel strengthening in the doors!

Under the bonnet, the 750E uses an improved version of Rover's old 2.5-litre V6. This is mated to a five-speed triple-mode automatic transmis-sion. The engine gives a reassuring growl when pushed, but is otherwise smooth and fairly responsive. Other powerplant options are due to be offered in the UK, while a hybrid model is also under development.

On the road, the Roewe provides a comfortable ride, even over bumpy, pothholed road surfaces. As with the old 75, the Chinese model has light and accurate steering. Driving aids such as Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Vehicle Stability Control have been included, too.

When the 750 initially goes on sale in the UK next year, it will wear a SsangYong badge until a network of Roewe dealers is established - a process scheduled to happen in 2010. And on this evidence, British buyers have plenty to look forward to.

Taken from Auto Express website, written by Mark Andrews.

Auto Express Test the MG7

MG is back! And standing in the firm's factory in China, it seemed scarcely believable that the two-year wait was nearly over.

As the robots whirred and soared above our heads, they were welding and assembling pressed-steel components into the body of what looked suspiciously like a ZT. The instructions on the safety fencing were in Chinese, yet the computer monitoring the robots' choreography was displaying English machine code, and had the word "Longbridge" written in the top corner.

All of this activity proves that MG is most definitely a force to be reckoned with again. To drive the message home, the brand's new owner invited Auto Express to be among the first magazines in the world to get behind the wheel of one of the first models off the line - the new MG 7.

As the newcomer rolled into view, initial impressions were good. Despite some early horror stories that suggested vehicle build quality was less than encouraging, we were pleased to see that the car's panel gaps are even, and the paint is both evenly applied and lustrous. A decent start, then.



Powering the model we tried is the 1.8-litre turbocharged K Series motor that Rover originally debuted in 2003. It's fitted neatly under the bonnet - there are no stray wires and pipes in the engine bay - and has been tuned to meet strict Euro IV emissions regulations. Work has also been done to boost reliability, and MG is promising an end to the head gasket failures that plagued earlier models.

Changes to the car's electrical system have also been made, both to improve the engine's ignition system, and to power the greater range of equipment on board. This includes features such as a reversing camera and DVD screens in the front headrests for back-seat passengers - kit that never appeared on the UK-built model.

So far, so good, but does the MG 7 hold up under closer inspection? Of course, there are some subtle, yet equally important changes to the styling compared to the original MG Rover cars, yet these are only obvious when the car is examined in detail.

The clearest difference has been made to the tail-lights, which now use LED lamps instead of conventional bulbs. The alloy wheels have also been changed - they're sourced from a local Chinese supplier - while the aggressive front spoiler is the MG sports version that used to be offered as an option.

Inside, the radio and CD player is revised, and there is now a central LCD display screen for sat-nav and to show the view from the reversing camera. Finally, the electric sunroof system and air-con units are different. MG proudly claims that quality is better than the cars that came out of the Longbridge factory. It also points out that in its latter stage of British ownership, the firm was cutting costs out of the car, such as the bonnet insulation and driver's-side grab handles. MG's new caretaker has put these items back, something that has restored at least a bit of the car's premium feel.

Fire up the four-cylinder engine, and it's clear that the results of this work have not been in vain. The engine is certainly quiet, and with 148bhp and 215Nm of torque, the 1.8T quickly makes a credible case for itself, blending brisk acceleration with the cruising economy of a turbo. Floor the throttle, and the K Series unit pulls smoothly and effortlessly, leaving the cabin quiet and relaxed, even under heavy acceleration. There's little in the way of turbo lag, although we couldn't help feeling that the powerplant is still a little rough around the edges.

That's particularly the case when you back off the accelerator, or are driving at low speed on smaller throttle openings. The unit is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, and MG claims that the car manages the 0-60mph sprint in a respectable 9.5 seconds and has a top speed of 126mph. But of more concern to company car buyers will be the impressive 35.5mpg return and a CO2 emissions rating of 193g/km.



Another highlight is the MG 7's comfortable ride. It doesn't feel as sporty as the original ZT did, but MG is quick to point out that the car's suspension settings can be altered for markets such as the UK.

However, the comfortable driving experience makes complete sense when you consider that the company is aiming this model at a much broader market than before.

The steering and brakes inspire confidence, although MG is likely to carry out further development of some of the controls before it arrives in the UK this September. But perhaps the most impressive aspect of the MG 7 is not that our test car is neatly finished, or that it's so refined, but the fact that it is here at all.

Taken from the Auto Express website, written by Andrew English.

Roewe 750E Tested

For many visitors at the recent Beijing Auto Show, there was a surprise to be found - not because SAIC's new car was there, but thanks to Ford's decision to purchase the 'Rover' marque name from BMW, it was now to be seen on the Rongwei (Roewe) show stand. Ford's decision to purchase Rover at the last minute in order "to give priority to their purchasing power," meant that what we saw was the 'Roewe' - a new creation, with a British flavour to it.

The Roewe emblem might be similar to Rover's Viking longship - especially in its shape, but there are very important differences. The red and black colour scheme, the lion and the 'R' script mark it out as different enough to establish its own brand identity.

The Roewe 750 models are built in China from local componentry - and although the Rover 75 was launched in the late 1990s, it was a very good starting point from which a autonomous domestic manufacturer could base its vitally important new car on.

Before we even drove the car, it was clear that the most impressive feature of the Roewe is its appearance. It's easy to see similarities at the front end with Jaguar, and other classically styled British saloons. The cigar-shaped body styling has a distinctly classic style to it, and the Roewe looks like the latest of a long of of saloons.

The UK has a long motoring history although in recent years, only Rolls Royce, Bentley, and Jaguar seem to have remained true to their heritage. These companies built cars that were aimed at upper-class customers who knew what they wanted in their 'English' cars. This meant that styling didn't evolve in a fast-moving industry, and that meant that the cars ended up distanced from their opposition.

And in a market dominated by efficient Japanese cars and soulless Germans, the majority of the British cars really were like works of art. Now through some minor cosmetic surgery, SAIC has taken the British work of art and turned it into a tool to serve the Chinese people. The Roewe front end styling has been slightly revised and looks little different to the Rover it was based upon.

However, the Roewe 750 looks more aggressive at the front - giving it a more powerful style. Apart from that, the Roewe body is basically a carry-over from the design of the Rover 75 with the smallest of changes. The most significant changes are a 10cm increase in the wheelbase, and the drooping rear end design which cost boot- and leg-room has been revised - and from the C-post backwards some of that classic style with its charming curves have been lost.

Clearly, in the eyes of SAIC's designers, practicality has been an important issue - and within the romantic, classical design there has been a need to innovate - denoting that this is a new car. The bulkier rear end styling may have been at the expense of the styling, but it has been necessary for the Chinese market. Once inside, the full extent of the differences are clear to see - and the classic British style has been modernised.

Such is the success of the styling in our eyes, that had we not seen the Rover 75 beforehand, we'd have thought this was a brand new, good-looking, design.

Inside the car, the classic ovaloid theme has been retained - as have the pretty white back-lit dials. Either side of the retro-looking analogue clock are two oval air vents - and it seems that many of the function buttons follow the same theme, leading us to think that it's a style unique to the marque for at least a century. The style of the Roewe has changed, and on first acquaintance, it seems that the interior materials are far away from the Rover's aritocratic DNA. Perhaps this is a function of the car's low list price.

On the road, the benefits of using of international resources in the production of our own brands is immediately obvious. Problems with most domestic cars, such as poor ride and handling and engine/transmission characteristics don't seem to be evident with the Roewe 750. It's a very smooth, mature platform from which the obvious benefits have been extracted.

Although the five-speed automatic transmission of the Rover 75 didn't win universal praise, the Roewe system is hard to find fault with. There's little wrong with the performance, either, and the smooth shifting smooth and relatively quiet gearbox matches the car's personality perfectly. The original Rover KV6 engine comfortably handles it boost in maximum from 177bhp to 184bhp, although the torque figure remains the same.

The increased wheelbase does bring a weight penalty of nearly 100kg, and that means that the 0-60mph acceleration time has gone up to 10 seconds, from 8.9 in the Rover 75. The lengthened wheelbase gives the car similar comfort levels to the largest of competitors - and the Rover 75 was a great starting point, as it was originally very comfortable, despite its imperfect use of space.

Meanwhile, in order to meet China's road conditions, SAIC engineers at the European Research Centre (Ricardo2010) specified the car with firm springing, which has been softened for Chinese consumption. This softer ride, along with the lengthened wheelbase has made a significant contribution to the rear of comfort. However, this chassis adjustment means some wallowing. As well as the adjusted suspension, the brakes and their pedal action have been tuned for Chinese tastes, and that means they feel softer in operation.

Driving enthusiasts keen on the Rover 75 will begin to worry whether these changes will dilute that car's character. In fact, there is no need to worry, because although your driving style will need to adjust to compensate, you can still have a lot of fun in this car. We drove it close to 125mph from Hangzhou to the Qiandao Lake, and the best way to explain the feeling was that the chassis was solid - and the road was dismissed easily.

The Guteyi (Goodyear) high-speed tyres were well up to the task of keeping the Roewe on the road, and braking performance is good. The thick-rimmed steering wheel feels good, but also assists with high speed stability.

Like the opposition from Jaguar, the Rover 75 had a unique British feel to it - something the Roewe has inherited. Driving quickly in the the middle of the city, and the car made a beautiful and unique noise that attracted the attention of other drivers. Although the engine noise is pleasant, wind noise from the screen is not up to form, and will need to be modified before the Roewe 750 hits the market.

There has been a lot of the local optimization in its transformation into the Roewe 750, such as its new interior design, the longer wheelbase, and boot size. After all, Roewe-SAIC is only on the first step in the development of the marque, and much has been inherited rather than innovated. Now the challenge that faces the company is how to maintain the quality and 'Britishness' of the original while developing new models and selling them at a very competitive price.

As a toe-in-the-water exercise to see how customers will take to British-designed cars locally produced in China, the Roewe 750 is an impressive first step. The 750 takes its British style and aims straight for the competition - and from whichever angle you look at it, it will be interesting to see whether the opposition answers the challenge by producing similar cars. China's consumers already have plenty of choice - so the question is whether the people will readily accept new things.

Unlike the Passat, the Roewe will appeal to a more unique buying group - and will be offered at an attractive price. Perhaps the best way to defeat the opposition is simply by undercutting them.

Taken from the Auto China Website, translated by Keith Adams fro his website: Austin-Rover.co.uk

Brilliance BS6



The car's called the Brilliance BS6, and 3,000 of the new executive saloons will be specially imported over the next year, with the first arriving in showrooms in January.

Pitched against rivals such as the Hyundai Sonata and fellow Chinese firm SAICís forthcoming re-engineered Rover 75, the Roewe 750, the BS6 has a great deal riding on it.

Not only does the model have to prove to UK buyers that Chinese cars are worth considering, but also that the Brilliance brand can rub shoulders with some of the best in the business.

After all, this isnít the last car the company wants to see on British roads. It is set to be followed by a Brilliance coupť, supermini and SUV. Similar in size to the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes E-Class but carrying a £15,000 price tag, the BS6 is certainly a promising package. Yet does the Brilliance live up to its grand name?

Initial impressions arenít promising. Except for the garish chrome brightwork on the grille and rear number plate surround, thereís nothing at all distinctive about the shape.

In fact, itís as if the styling team has mixed two other cars together. The front bears more than a passing resemblance to Daewooís long-since-departed Leganza, while the rear has shades of the current Hyundai Sonata.

Add a bland four-door profile and, although Brilliance would like to think the BS6 will appeal to budding executives, this is not a car for people who want to stand out. It doesnít get much better on the inside. Although there is decent legroom in the rear for tall passengers, and a highly usable boot, little else impresses. Hard, shiny plastic and some cheap-feeling leather upholstery dominate the cabin, which is not particularly well put together, either.



The dashboard features mismatched fake wood trim, beige leather and a shiny silver stereo. In all, itís as though youíve taken a step back in time when you sit behind the wheel, ending up somewhere in the late Eighties.

Equipment levels leave a lot to be desired, too. Although air-conditioning and a CD player are standard, even the range-topping Deluxe trim comes with only two airbags, and it doesnít get any form of stability or traction control. Whatís more, any passengers sitting in the centre rear seat will have to make do with a simple lapbelt.

So, does the driving experience bring better news? Clearly, Brilliance engineers have set up the car with comfort in mind. Despite the brandís close links with BMW and Toyota in China, not much mechanical knowledge appears to have been shared.

In town, the carís front-wheel-drive chassis and softly sprung suspension do a good job of absorbing bumps. Start to push harder in tight corners, though, and the ride quickly becomes spongy, with lots of body roll.

The shortage of driver aids means the BS6 suffers from poor traction. The steering doesnít help matters, either, as itís very light with little feedback. However, the engine fares better. Sourced from Mitsubishi Ė yet another company with which Brilliance works in China Ė the 130bhp 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol powerplant delivers smooth, if not exactly spirited, performance. Itís linked to a rather vague five-speed manual box, and propels the car from 0-60mph in around 12 seconds.

This is the only engine option for now, although an entry-level 2.0-litre unit is on the way. However, bosses currently have no plans to introduce a turbodiesel Ė and thatís a gaping omission in the European market, where sales of oil-burning variants outnumber their petrol equivalents.

The Brilliance is currently available only in left-hand-drive guise Ė and on this evidence, that shouldnít prove too much of a disappointment.

Taken from the Auto Express website, written by
Jan Horn.


Analysis

The Brilliance BS6 beat the Roewe, and all the other Chinese manufacturers, to Europe, however as this review states itís not the best start. By our standards the cars exterior styling is very bland, while the interior is a mismatch of low rent materials, which are poorly put together, as you can see from the picture. The Ford Scorpio interior looks like a lot nicer place to be, and it's not the best, and it's over 10 years old!

Itís the Ford Scorpio that may be important to the Brilliance BS6í success, Ford donít make it anymore, and Vauxhall/Opel donít make their similar Omega either. These cars donít sell well enough to justify continued development by the big companies, but this small segment could be a good way for the Chinese company to get a foothold in the European market.

Judging by what Auto Express say, however, itís unlikely that itíll be greatly successful. The interior is just too crap, the spec levels too insignificant, the suspension too spongy, and the performance below par (0-60 in 12 seconds). However the better styled BS4 (essentially a BMW 5 series without the bangle ornamentation) and a coupe will be on offer as well soon, so they have more of a chance there.

So how does this relate to the Roewe 750? Well in China these two are rivals, and it gives us an idea of how the 750 would fare if they chose to sell it in Europe, and it doesnít look too hopeful. The 750ís exterior styling is arguably far better, and the interiorís nicer too, but that large expanse of black plastic looks very suspect. There will probably also be the same build quality issues, as well as the soft suspension and driving experience that the Chinese favour. Essentially, the 750 is a better car than the BS6 but it will still need severall tweaks to make it acceptable to European palates.