MG6 First Drive at Goodwood

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    patpending

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    MG6 First Drive at Goodwood

    Post by patpending on Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:13 pm

    MG6 FIRST DRIVE at GOODWOOD - IMPRESSIONS by PATPENDING

    PART 1 - GOODWOOD

    The first day of July dawned on England, bathing Surrey and Sussex in glorious sunshine.

    I had been presented by MG Motor with a pair of tickets to the Goodwood Moving Motor Show, where I hoped to drive the MG6!


    Driving my MG to Goodwood in the early morning, trundling through the leafy villages of russet brick and tile between Guildford and Chichester, I felt a bit like I was driving through an episode of Poirot, an impression not dulled when a Mercedes-Benz came flying past a line of cars behind a lorry in a "no overtaking" section. Single-lane bridges, gentlemen puffing on their pipes as they waited to cross the road with their morning newspapers, and the Petworth one-way system round flint walls, ancient shops and houses, completed the idyll.

    Arriving at the huge Goodwood car park set out in a vast succession of fields on what is a massive estate, I drove in behind a TF and an RV8 while a Rolls-Royce Silver Spur followed me. I belatedly took the precaution of noting the position of the car relative to a yellow marker which turned out to be useful as

    1) I was the last of the four to leave, so the position of their cars was of limited use and

    2) even when I had found the correct position, I couldn't spot my car immediately even though I saw no other 180 in the car park.

    "Oh good" I said "not far to the entrance in the corner of the field". From there, however, there was a 20-minute hike across a plastic walkway. "Pat Pending" it said on each one. This was the equivalent of the red carpet treatment, I felt.

    At the gate, there was some hitch with my barcode and I hoped I had not come up "Iceland Fish Fingers Bumper 36 pack".

    Then I was let in.

    The first thing I saw was the Moving Motor Show pavilion set out like a pitlane going through a modern airport terminal. Those manufacturers present each had an area the size of a large front garden with room for about five or six cars only, of which some (MG: three, two MG6s and a TF) were to be driven by punters.



    Approaching the show through a pitlane busy with cars was unnerving on foot, let alone in a car.

    Then there was a bridge over to a large central area with stalls and pavilions, and my personal favourite, the 11 Wacky Races cars. The drivers even appeared in the afternoon!

    Here was an area showing off something I have never seen first-hand - Land-Rovers tackling an extreme off-road assault course where the obstacles were even higher than the kerbs outside schools. Next to it the Army was showing off tanks and armoured vehicles - one of which, the "Warthog",





    is like a science-fiction vehicle from "Damnation Alley" or "Mad Max". I said I wouldn't fancy being shut in an armoured box (the trailer) when I was being shot at - to which the answer is it's better than NOT being shut in an armoured box when you are being shot at.

    I have immense respect for our young lads in Afghanistan. The youngest are 17. I could never have done that.

    Over another bridge was a display of exotic and unusual cars, including a DAF beach buggy presented to the Dutch Royal Family on the birth of their child, and modern-day supercars like a shiny stainless steel Bugatti.

    DAF Kini





    Clearly, the more exhaust pipes a car has, the faster it is. My technical advice might have saved a lot of development work on the ZT 260. The 260 has four tailpipes and is thus the fastest recent MG.

    There were also a number of Formula One cars on display. Generally by the time you had worked out whose car it must be from the sponsor logos and the start number, someone in front of you had moved away so you could see the driver's name on the car.



    By the time we had worked out that the hillclimb section was easy to view from the eastern side but that the western side was known as "the stupid route", we had walked as far as we could up the western side and there was nowhere to cross.

    So we returned via the antics of the Wacky Races crews to the start line, and from there to the Moving Motor Show.

    (Me - Professor Pat Pending)






    PART 2 - TEST DRIVING THE MG6

    In the MG area, two cars - one silver Chinese LHD automatic MG6 and one deep blue TF - were on display while a silver TF and two LHD manual MG6s - one orange, one white - were available to drive round the course. To me, it seemed that the "orange spec" one had to be preferable as it was surely the one out of the advert which the Jane Bond aquatic agent had skidded over the ice to rescue the trapped man. However, apparently the white one was more closely adapted to the UK spec which will be available.




    Waiting for the drive, it was possible to review the MG6 that was standing in the MG area.






    Although it was ostensibly a LHD Chinese spec auto model with automatic transmission, the rear badge was a UK one with nary a Shang in sight (I think the badge on the left of the tailgate says "Shanghai Automotive"). Admit it, that's the side you were looking!

    The main impression of looking at the MG6 from the side has to be "what an attractive car it is" with its the fastback design somewhat reminiscent of the classic Mk1 Passat - the original Volkswagen "wind car"..

    Of course, the MG6 is much longer than the 165" (4190mm) Passat and at 184" (4653mm) it would not fit in my garage. It doesn't look or feel longer than a ZS saloon, however!

    It would appear to be relatively easy to offer OE mudflaps.

    As the battery was disconnected due to health and safety, it was not possible to open the boot, which meant that one of the key areas of concern with a new car - how to fold the rear seats down - was not tested.

    Thinking about fuss in doing this, the car I drove had three rear head restraints.

    For the same reason, no electrics, I did not investigate other key areas of the controls, such as the lights, the windscreen wipers and washers front and rear, the radio (DAB! - though it is not clearly possible to retrofit one's own DAB radio cassette player, as there is no obvious DIN space), or any external temperature gauge.
    Similarly, the possibilities of the onboard computer remained unexplored.

    http://www.mguk.org/users/1913/20/60/23/album/mg6_410.jpg






    The boot

    http://www.mguk.org/users/1913/20/60/23/album/mg6_1410.jpg




    The full-size (Chinese spec) spare

    http://www.mguk.org/users/1913/20/60/23/album/mg6_2010.jpg




    The bonnet

    http://www.mguk.org/users/1913/20/60/23/album/mg6_2111.jpg



    (or to patpending, "the lid thingy at the front within which it is vital to prevent pat paws from pottering".)

    There was a lot of space around the 1.8T in the bonnet, prompting speculation that larger power units (e.g. V6) might one day be added. The battery on this version was
    wrapped up warm as they do in China. The "chocolate bar" cover I have commented on in the past is in fact a part of the air intake, while the screenwash bottle is even more invisible than that on the ZS.

    The feeling of quality is very marked. Under the lid thingy of my ZS there is a long thin pipe (bonnet release?) labelled "MADE IN CHINA" and that's the British product!

    The MG6's bonnet moves open noiselessly on gas-filled struts, though shutting it is a bit of an art.

    WHEELS

    The wheels have a swirly round pattern like this

    http://file0.che168.com/Upload/Image/Word_Pic/20091211/4645150852381627.jpg




    but the 2010 MGTFs we saw had seven-swirl wheels.

    THE TEST DRIVE

    Patpending, Windy and ZTSteve (ZRSteve) piled into the car for the chauffeur-driven ride to the start of the course.

    The car is extremely spacious - four grown men fitted into it with space to spare, even when MG Motor's long-suffering driving instructor moved his seat back into the legroom of a 6-foot bloke. The MG6 thus seems the spiritual successor to the Wolseley Six though amazingly the 6 is much bigger than the Six (and modern
    legislation means the 6 can't have a classy light-up badge either!)


    Controls

    There was no time as a driver to familiarise myself with certain controls. I did not get a chance to evaluate the car's turning circle or the parking controls, nor to turn on the
    radio or the lights, check the external temperature, or operate the windscreen wipers.

    Although the gear knob was on my right just as it had been with my own first MG, and I was glad (having selected it by mistake) that top right was 5th rather than reverse, the
    car's umbrella- or saw-handle handbrake meant I needed to adopt a very different moving-off technique - which I can best compare with that of a Hillman Hunter, where the RHD version has the handbrake on the right, so that releasing it and moving off without stalling was beyond me. (My first MG also had the handbrake on the right, so it's not a question of "which hand"). I believe that on the RHD manual version the handbrake is by the passenger seat as with the SD1.

    The indicator stalk was on the left, as with most cars nowadays.

    The steering wheel (power steering?) was quite easy to turn although the view to the side was restricted by the A-pillar. The view backwards through the rear window
    seemed rather like a pillar-box due to the three rear headrests, which will potentially be an issue if spoilers are ever added.

    The 1.8 Turbo engine shows good uphill oomph with no recognisable turbo lag.

    The ride in my "partly tweaked" white spec MG was very comfortable for my passengers although this of course meant that the car rolled a bit more on the corners.

    Overall I was very impressed. The 6 is a worthy successor to the Six! it even delivers some 44% more power from a 19%-smaller engine.


    Last edited by patpending on Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:46 am; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : can't spell img omg)
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    Windy
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    Re: MG6 First Drive at Goodwood

    Post by Windy on Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:54 am

    Thanks pat, that is a good read Smile

    Four of the pictures have vanished and I'm not sure why, I assume they are available on another thread but I cant work out which?...

    Being a fastback you might be a little concerned about space in the back, especially if it was designed for someone of average Chinese height. I can only conclude that it was designed by the British for someone significantly taller than the average British person! With the front seats adjusted all the way back there still seems to be more legroom for the rear seat pasengers than there is in my (Japanese designed?) MG ZS when the front seats are adjusted all the way forward!

    Despite what appear from the outside to be narrow windows the visibility from the back is supprisingly good, although as expected the front headrests are in the way for a clear view forward. The back does give you a fealing of being enclosed in the car and it would be very easy to forget the outside world, not only because of the narrow windows but also by maybe a little too much sound proofing! If you like open top motoring or the openness of the Rover R8 then you might want to wait for a cabriolet version. The rear seating was very comfy but maybe not very sporty.
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    patpending

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    Re: MG6 First Drive at Goodwood

    Post by patpending on Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:08 am

    Windy wrote:Thanks pat, that is a good read Smile

    Four of the pictures have vanished and I'm not sure why, I assume they are available on another thread but I cant work out which?...

    Being a fastback you might be a little concerned about space in the back, especially if it was designed for someone of average Chinese height. I can only conclude that it was designed by the British for someone significantly taller than the average British person! With the front seats adjusted all the way back there still seems to be more legroom for the rear seat pasengers than there is in my (Japanese designed?) MG ZS when the front seats are adjusted all the way forward!

    Despite what appear from the outside to be narrow windows the visibility from the back is supprisingly good, although as expected the front headrests are in the way for a clear view forward. The back does give you a fealing of being enclosed in the car and it would be very easy to forget the outside world, not only because of the narrow windows but also by maybe a little too much sound proofing! If you like open top motoring or the openness of the Rover R8 then you might want to wait for a cabriolet version. The rear seating was very comfy but maybe not very sporty.

    Thanks for the tip, I have re-inserted the photos which are from the best resource on the web, Want to know how long the MG6 is? Forget wikipedia...

    Lots of MG6 stuff here...

    http://www.mguk.org/china-news-f3/guangzhou-auto-show-international-launch-of-the-mg6-t214.htm
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    Windy
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    Re: MG6 First Drive at Goodwood

    Post by Windy on Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:30 am

    patpending wrote:Thanks for the tip, I have re-inserted the photos which are from the best resource on the web...
    Ahh, now I can see them sunny
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    Steven211

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    Re: MG6 First Drive at Goodwood

    Post by Steven211 on Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:10 am

    Good review pat, alot better then jackonicko from mgrover.org review, i will be doing a review when the car comes out

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