Affording a powerful four-wheel drive sports car has until now remained reserved for an elite. But the Chinese manufacturer MG is giving power back to the people with its 435 hp MG4 XPower billed at €40,490 excluding bonuses.
At first glance, the MG4 It therefore offers the same habitability dimensions and the same trunk volume (350 liters). Main differences: a small XPower sticker on the tailgate, “piano black” colored rocker panels and 18-inch rims with a specific design with large orange calipers. The sportiest MG4 inherits the same battery as the Comfort and Luxury models, namely a Nickel Manganese Cobalt type lithium-ion pack with a capacity of 64 kWh (60 useful kWh).
One engine bought, another free!
On the engine side, however, the MG4 loss). The torque reaches the astronomical value of 600 Nm fortunately distributed over the 4 drive wheels. To support such a cavalry, the chassis adopts a specific geometry with new springs, modified shock absorbers and aluminum lower wishbones. Braking benefits from larger diameter ventilated discs (345 mm front, 340 mm rear) and large single-piston calipers.
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A pinch of Alcantara
On board the MG4 XPower, the presentation is just as discreet as on the outside. A second sticker on the gear lever and an aluminum pedal set appear while the upholstery and door panels are adorned with Alcantara. It is, however, regrettable that the electrically adjustable driver’s seat is not deeper and does not allow the inclination of the seat to be changed. The passenger must make do with manual adjustment of the backrest. A shame, because the standard equipment is very generous with heated seats and steering wheel, a 6HP car radio, an induction charger and all the driving aids. Like all 2023 MG3 models, the until the vehicle comes to a complete stop.
A road and circuit timing function also appears in the multimedia system menus. The latter has received several updates which make it a little more fluid, but remains quite basic. The AppleCarPlay function is welcome, but requires a wired connection with an original USB cable (which transfers data). If the quality of certain hard plastics which make up the furniture sounds hollow and scratches easily, the general manufacturing quality is not to be criticized with well-applied paint, body panels with regular adjustments and fairly thick door seals.
Not even afraid of speed bumps
With its modified running gear and its second engine at the front, the MG4 XPower requires a turning diameter of 11.7 m compared to 10.6 for a Luxury version with rear-wheel drive (propulsion). Rear visibility is hampered by the imposing rear pillars and headrests, but the reversing camera with 360° vision greatly facilitates maneuvering. In the absence of paddles on the steering wheel, the MG4 offers several variable regeneration modes that can be adjusted via a shortcut button. The new “e pedal” function is also very appreciable even if the very strong deceleration requires time to adapt. The MG4 XPower stands out above all for its remarkable suspension comfort for such a powerful car. Its relatively high ground clearance (16 cm like the other versions) also prevents you from gritting your teeth when approaching speed bumps or parking ramps.
Good climber, poor tracker
On small, winding roads, the MG4 XPower confirms its good level of comfort. The higher the speed, the better the suspensions absorb shocks. On the other hand, the rear seems to settle down during strong accelerations and some floating movements appear in fast curves. With 1,800 kg on the scale, the MG4 XPower claims 128 kg more than a Luxury version but remains a little lighter than a Tesla Model 3 Grande Autonomie (or Performance). Thanks to the four-wheel drive, the power goes well to the ground and the behavior is very reassuring. Braking also seems up to the task even if the amplifier (specific to this model) lacks a little progressiveness in Sport mode. The possibility of adjusting the responsiveness of the controls (steering, brake, accelerator) also deserves to be welcomed.
Let us point out, however, that our test model was fitted with excellent Michelin Pilot Sport 5 tires, because another Bridgestone Turanza tire that is significantly less sporty (and expensive) also equips this model. Although it is not very playful, the MG4 A short lap of the circuit allowed us to force the pace by disconnecting the electronic aids and to enjoy without restraint the stratospheric performance of this compact (3.8 s on 0-100 km/h). But from the first turn, the engine cut us off by restricting the acceleration. It is therefore impossible to skid like with the propulsion version. It is better to reconnect the ESP which activates the XDS function (electronic self-locking differential) and allows a small movement of the rear axle to position the car. It is therefore possible to have fun on a mountain pass in an MG4 XPower but it is better to avoid the track days at the risk of smoking your pads like cigarettes.
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Sin of gluttony
A little piece ofautobahn unlimited allowed us to reach the 200 km/h top speed of this MG4 XPower in a flash. Stable and reassuring, the Chinese compact is, however, a little noisy. The front engine sometimes generates a dull rumble when it starts and the whistling of air can be heard from 90 km/h at the level of the pillars. Rolling and suspension noises are also quite noticeable. The active cruise control works well and the lane keeping assist (which is updated at the dealership) oscillates less than on the first examples. However, he can still have hesitations and cut himself without warning.
Another downside on the expressway: consumption. During our test, consumption fluctuated between 18 kWh/100 km when driving calmly on the road and 29 kWh/100 km at 130 km/h on the highway. Eco mode, which only uses the rear engine, still allows you to go down to 27 or even 25 kWh/100 km on the motorway. Enough to cover between 200 and 330 actual km (385 km according to WLTP standards). A little short even if the direct current charging power of 140 kW allows you to go from 10-80% in 30 min. The 11 kW on-board charger allows a full charge in 5 hours on alternating current (AC). Like the other MG4s, the XPower includes a heat pump as standard as well as a V2L system for recharging external objects.
Prices that would make Tesla pale
Billed at €40,490 excluding bonus and 7-year or 100,000 km warranty, the MG4 XPower breaks prices like no other and offers a price/power/equipment ratio unprecedented in the history of the automobile. Even the Tesla Model 3, whose prices make the competition shudder, cannot do better. The lack of precision in driving aids and torque distribution must therefore be put into perspective. Circuit enthusiasts will still find a good basis for preparation.
Video: 5 strong points and 5 weak points of the MG4
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