Chinese owners SAIC gave media a sneak preview of the MG6 when it opened a new UK design centre on the former MG Rover factory site in Birmingham last June

Chinese owners SAIC gave media a sneak preview of the MG6 when it opened a new UK design centre on the former MG Rover factory site in Birmingham last June

SAIC-owned MG Motor UK's new Ford Focus-sized MG6 five door hatchback line will make its local debut alongside an as yet undetailed new model at the Top Gear Live MPH motor show at London's legendary motor show venue, Earls Court, on 4 November.

Sales and marketing director Guy Jones said in a pre-show podcast the MG6, on sale later this year, had been benchmarked against the Focus and VW's Golf but was more spacious and would be highly specified - satellite navigation and "nice alloy wheels" on the mid-range version. Jones said he hoped this would make "MG famous again for being affordable".

The initial line-up would be "simple" with only a limited range of options. The launch engine would be a 1.8-litre petrol turbo offering, Jones said, delivering "a balance of sportiness with acceptable economy" while a 1.9-litre turbodiesel would follow about a year after launch.

The MG6 would be sold through the 40 dealers currently handling the MG roadster since sales of the Birmingham assembled model began in 2007/8 while another 20 or so "are looking to come on board in the next few months".

MG will also launch a sports sedan MG6 variant during 2011 and "new product" [widely expected to be a small car based on the Zero concept - ed] "after that". The dealer network would be expanded to cope with expected volume, he added.

Asked about a replacement for the TF roadster, he said the current version would be the last and would be sold into 2011 as long as demand remained.

From the archive: SAIC formally opens MG design centre