MG4 XPower Review - Fast Forward

Apr 3, 2024

Already a crowd pleaser even in standard dress, now MG takes its 4 and gives it much, much more. The new MG4 XPower is a dragster in practical family-sized electric vehicle disguise.

Words Cameron Officer Photos Alex McDonald-Bush

MG New Zealand has pulled off a rather neat trick during the last couple of years. Almost like the sleight of hand a magician employs to fool the senses, or a craftily placed clue buried in an early episode of a TV serial thriller, left to detonate as the plot requires later on, MG has quietly gotten on with becoming an electric vehicle juggernaut while everyone was looking the other way.

It’s worth noting the reborn brand has been visible in New Zealand for over a decade now. But the propulsive momentum enjoyed by MG in the last handful of years has been unstoppable. The surge started with the HS Plug-In Hybrid before focus shifted to the fully electric iteration of the compact ZS SUV. All-of-a-sudden it felt like every third car you passed featured the slotted, stylised grille of the ZS EV.

In the second half of 2023, the MG4 debuted. With its combination of sharp, athletic exterior looks, spacious interior, and tidy, minimalist driver controls, as well as all the benefits of 50:50 weight distribution, instantaneous acceleration and throttle response, and regenerative braking, the MG4 had “instant hit” written all over it before cars even began materialising in showrooms.

And now? Well, talk about doubling down.

Making waves before it even made landfall here – thanks mainly to a handful of videos doing the rounds on social media showing it spanking established performance muscle in straight-line speed runs – this is an MG4 with the volume turned up to 11.

It’s the much-anticipated MG4 XPower – the most powerful production MG ever seen here. Its dual motor powertrain delivers a 320kW thwack, with up to 600Nm of torque on tap. That power is apportioned across the front (150kW) and rear (170kW) electric motors.

Headline accidentally buried: all this power translates to a 0-100km/h sprint of just 3.8 seconds. So, insert usual supercar comparison here.

But without being flippant, it’s a firm point well made – this is a quick car. And more than just a quarter mile party piece, other components within the MG4 XPower have been uprated to match the muscle from those motors.

Suspension is courtesy of MacPherson struts at the front and a sophisticated Five-Multi-Link Rear set-up at the back. Coupled with a new Dynamic Cornering system, which features an electronic differential allowing for torque vectoring between all four wheels, the responsive on-road feel when pushing on is bolstered further by a Dual Pinion Electric Power Steering system which has been upgraded for this model. The XPower’s dampers have received specific tuning, and the car features stiffer anti-roll bars, so there’s a precise, rewarding go-kart-ish feel through corners.

The XPower also arrives with upgraded 345mm front and 340mm rear ventilated discs, and Bridgestone Turanza tyres wrapping very fetching (and standard) 18” sports alloys.

It even features a Launch Control button so you can get the most out of that standing start acceleration. Oh, and a dedicated Track Mode function too, allowing you to dial up lap times and diagnostic data on your speed, distance, throttle performance and lateral acceleration. That’s right: just like in a top-shelf performance car.

All this in a useable hatchback-style bodyshell with a seven-year warranty for $69,990 (plus on-road costs). It’s pretty compelling.

And then of course, it’s also fully electric. Zero emissions with your zero-to-one hundred time…

And what of the battery? It’s a 64kWh unit that’s capable of recharging at up to 140kW, meaning a charge time of as little as 26 minutes from 10% - 80% using a 150kW DC rapid charger. Range of around 400km (WLTP test figure) is achievable, although naturally if you’re tempted by the way the XPower can shrink horizons you’ll be pulling off the highway to top up short of that number.

But hey, what price a truly engaging drive? It doesn’t have to be all about the XPower’s USP at every step of the journey anyway. There remains the ability to select between a variety of driving modes – Normal, Sport, Snow, Eco and Custom – so if its fuss-free efficiency you want for your morning commute, then that’s on tap as well.

The distinctive alloy wheels and bright orange brake calipers might give the game away at 50 paces, but in every other way the MG4 XPower is that most delightful of performance car – a sleeper. A practical, well-appointed, well-priced, spacious electric vehicle, that’s capable of giving everyone else a hell of a fright at the lights.