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MG PH previews RX8 midsize SUV, to launch it at MIAS

Check out the provisional specs shown to dealer executives

The RX8 is poised to stir up the midsize-SUV market. PHOTO FROM SOURCE

To say that MG Philippines is killing it these days is quite an understatement. From basically out of nowhere, the Chinese-owned British brand sold a total of 5,085 vehicles in our market last year under a new distributor in The Covenant Car Company Inc. We’re convinced that this strong performance will continue in 2020, especially after being sent the photos you see here. These images show the RX8 midsize SUV—not to be confused with Mazda’s sports car, obviously—during last night’s preview for MG dealers.

According to our source, the RX8 will be displayed and launched at the upcoming Manila International Auto Show on April 2 to 5. One of the pictures indicates that the version to be introduced here will retain the same seven-seat configuration used in China, where it is sold under the Roewe brand and is also available as a five-seater.

The unit shown to the dealers had seven seats in total. PHOTOS FROM SOURCE

A slide shown during the product presentation reveals the exterior dimensions of the RX8—4,923mm long, 1,930 wide and 1,840mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,850mm—as well as the SUV models from competing brands against which it will be positioned.

Based also on said presentation, the RX8 will have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo gasoline engine mated to a six-speed Aisin automatic transmission and rated at 221hp and 360Nm. It will also have a four-wheel-drive electronic transfer case with a torque-on-demand program and six terrain modes. Sitting on a full ladder frame and rolling on 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 255/50 rubber, the RX8 will be underpinned by double wishbones and coil springs in front and five-link coil springs at the back.

The following were among the many key features enumerated during the presentation: 10-inch color touchscreen with a reversing camera; wireless charger; rain-sensing wipers; automatic on/off headlamps; LED headlamps and daytime running lights; LED front fog lamps; LED taillights; electronic parking brake with automatic hold; front airbags, side airbags and curtain airbags; electronic stability program with antilock brakes and electronic brake-force distribution; eco mode; panoramic sunroof; power tailgate; keyless entry and start button; eight-way power driver seat; four-way power passenger seat; and front-seat ventilation.

Here are the SUV models MG is pitting the RX8 against. PHOTO FROM SOURCE

With that long list of features, pricing could be a little tricky. But dealers are hoping MG Philippines can price it below P2 million. So…what do you think?

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.