Is this MG's UK comeback car?

* Roewe 550 unveiled in China * Company officials eye European return * Car could be built at iconic Longbridge site...

22 April 2008
Is this MG's UK comeback car?

This is the car that will return the MG brand to the UK, according to company officials.

Called the Roewe 550, the small family car was launched at this week's Bejing motor show by the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), which now owns MG.

MG was bought by Chinese car manufacturer Nanjing Automotive in 2005, but this in turn was bought by SAIC at the end of last year.

The Roewe 550 was designed in Britain by ex-MG Rover engineers and is based on the Rover 75 platform.

The car is powered by a turbocharged 1.8-litre petrol engine and is scheduled to go on sale in China next month.

However, company insiders have revealed that the European version of the car would be more aggressively styled and have a greater engine line-up. It wouldn't be available until 2010 at the earliest.

Reports suggest that as well as going on sale in the UK, the car could also be built at the old MG plant at Longbridge. However, sites in Germany and Austria are also said to be under consideration.

The Longbridge site has had 39 million invested in it since it was sold to its Chinese owners, and is due to begin a limited production of MG TFs within the next six months.