MG has presented a small SUV with suicide door at the Beijing Motor Show. This little concept car – dubbed the Icon -- demonstrates MG’s direction and styling, according to design chief Tony Williams. This car is less than 4m long and is built on the MG3's B platform. Williams is British but is currently based in Shanghai.
He is the leader of MG’s design team as well as of sister brand Roewe. He has a team based in the UK and in China that is composed of 130 members. He said that MG is challenging that brand’s limits. In particular, he said that he prefers a modern look instead of a retro or a pastiche which is what tends to happen when you work with a legendary brand with a long history.
He said that the company will be monitoring the reaction of the visitors at this show and in other places where the concept will be shown. He said that for now, this is just a concept but what is certain is that some aspects of its design will be used in future products. The front of the Icon has a recognizable MG appearance but the suicide doors are undoubtedly its most striking feature.
Williams said that he hopes that there will be a new MGB. However, he declined to hint on what its form will be or in which market it will be offered. Of course, the sales of the SUV segment in China have been surging. He said that MG vehicles have made an impact on car design and he would want to offer more vehicles similar to those too.
In the 2012 Beijing Motor Show, the highly-sought after award is “Best Concept”. According to MG, its Icon concept car has managed to get this major design award beating out other concept cars from more famous names like the Urus from Lamborghini, Concept C from Honda, and the Concept Style Coupe from Mercedes-Benz. The award was announced by none other than the leading auto magazine in the U.S., Autoweek.
According to Autoweek, MG will however be given an engraved trophy though at a later date. Autoweek German editor and celebrated international motoring journalist Greg Kable only had high praises for the Icon. According to him, by coming out with a reinterpretation of the traditional style and putting it in a compact-SUV package, the Icon signifies the rebirth of MG which now has SAIC Motor as its parent company.
Kable added that he expects the Icon to give the Mini Countryman and the Nissan Juke a run for their money. The Icon is the first SUV to come from MG and was made by a design team headed by British director Anthony Williams-Kenny.
Williams-Kenny shared that it was truly an honor to be able to win such a prestigious award considering that the Icon managed to beat concept cars from other well-known brands. In designing the Icon, the team took inspiration from many of MG’s models in the past like the MGB GT and the MGA. There is no word yet from the brand whether a production version will be made.