The 2021 MG Pilot (or Linghang when translated into its native Chinese language) has officially made its debut at the 2020 Beijing Auto Show. Previewed at an exclusive event prior to its public debut, SAIC MG’s flagship vehicle boasts the brand’s newest design language along with a powerful turbocharged gasoline engine to match its flagship status.
As mentioned in our prior article, the MG Pilot is a heavily revised version of the MG HS compact SUV. Though it seems SAIC MG won’t be replacing the HS in its global lineup since a plug-in hybrid version of that SUV was just launched in the UK. For now, though, the new MG Pilot will remain a Chinese market-only SUV. Plans to export this outside of their home market have not yet been announced.
The new MG Pilot is being positioned as a performance version of the mechanically-related MG HS, and this is reflected in its design. Upfront, the MG Linghang features a wide “digital flame” grille with an intricate mesh pattern similar to what the new MG 5 uses. The large grille is then flanked by a pair of sleek LED headlights. 19-inch alloy wheels come as standard in this top trim Trophy variant. Moving towards the rear, and you’ll see a pair of redesigned “claw-like” LED taillights. Numerous red exterior details highlight the sporting intentions of MG’s latest SUV.
As for the interior, the design is likewise similar to MG HS, but with significantly more tech and premium materials. SAIC MG claims that the MG Pilot’s interior is the quietest in its class, with interior noise levels at 36.5 decibels when the car is at idle. This Trophy variant shown here features plenty of premium blue and white leather surfaces and a large panoramic sunroof. Drivers will be greeted by a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster along with a 10.1-inch touch screen infotainment system. The Pilot is also the first MG to feature an 8-speaker Bose sound system.
Under the hood of the 2021 MG Pilot are two turbocharged inline-4 gasoline engine choices. The range kicks off with the 1.5-liter motor, which produces 173 hp and 275 Nm of torque. The range-topping engine is a 2.0-liter motor that produces a meaty 231 hp and 370 Nm of torque. Power is then sent to all four wheels via a 7-speed wet dual-clutch transmission (DCT). With these power figures, the MG Pilot is positioned as the highest-performing vehicle in the Sino-British automaker’s lineup.
The 2021 MG Pilot also features the brand’s latest suite of advanced driver-assist systems called MG Pilot 2.0. SAIC MG is particularly proud that their system consists of 11 radars and 5 cameras, enabling their SUV to boasts advanced features such as full-speed adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, blind spot warning, just to name a few.
The 2021 MG Pilot will first go on sale in China later this year. We surely wish that MG Philippines would sell this performance-oriented SUV in our market.