MG is one of those Chinese brands that has quietly spread its footprint around the world. We don’t know much about the SAIC brand’s progress here, being fixated on Geely, but MG sells in Europe and has a significant presence in our neighbour Thailand, which is of course a fortress for Japanese carmakers.

Now here’s something new from MG that looks good, if a little generic, and moves the brand away from its Mazda-style face. The MG Marvel R Electric is described as a “high-tech, luxurious ‘lifestyle’ SUV for the C-segment” and the electric SUV’s European market launch is scheduled for May 2021.

MG’s electric cars and PHEVs like the ZS EV and EHS Plug-in Hybrid are known for their smart pricing, functionality, kit and efficiency, and the brief for new models like the Marvel R is to raise the bar in design and appeal.

“The MG ZS EV and EHS Plug-in Hybrid are practical cars that meet the most important needs, while the MG Marvel R Electric and MG5 Electric evoke even more emotion. These new MG models radiate the power, innovations and unprecedented possibilities of our time,” said Matt Lei, MG Motor Europe’s CEO.

“When we relaunched the British MG brand under the banner of our parent company SAIC Motor, we made a promise to European drivers: making electric mobility accessible to drivers who are young at heart and ready to embrace a new electric lifestyle. Offering smart, practical, safe and technologically advanced cars is our main focus. With the new MG Marvel R Electric, we’re offering vehicles that meet the demands of the most discerning European motorists,” Lei added.

The Marvel R is a second-generation EV for MG, and uses the new “Evolution Design” language. The C-segment SUV is 4,674 mm long, 1,919 mm wide and 1,618 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,800 mm. That’s about the size of a Honda CR-V but slightly larger; the MG is 51 mm longer and 64 mm wider, with a 140 mm longer wheelbase.

As is expected from not just an EV, but a Chinese one, the Marvel R’s dashboard is dominated by screens. The unmissable one is a 19.4-inch portrait touchscreen that controls everything except for “gear selection”, which is made via a rotary dial just below the screen. There’s Apple Carplay and Android Auto plus a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel.

Under the hood is an all-wheel drive system with three electric motors: one on the front axle and two at the back. Combined, the maximum output is 288 PS (212 kW) and peak torque of 665 Nm. MG says that 0-50 km/h is done in just 1.8 seconds and the full 0-100 km/h sprint in 4.9 seconds. Top speed is capped at 200 km/h. There will also be a rear-wheel drive variant with two rear electric motors.

MG is claiming a range of over 400 km in the WLTP cycle. Refilling at a public charging point (AC) can be done via an 11 kW on-board three-phase charger. DC fast-charging fills the battery up to 80% in just 30 minutes. The climate control with an internal heat pump “guarantees optimal charging performance at low temperatures” – an important promise in Europe, where the winters are getting colder these days.

Another notable feature of the Marvel R is the V2L system (vehicle-to-load), which allows the lithium-ion battery to supply 2,500W of power to an external electrical system – this can be an air pump, electric scooter, a laptop or even another electric car. MG says that this tech is an important innovation for clean energy transition and last-mile solution.

The luggage compartment has a volume of 357 litres, which can be increased to 1,396 litres with the rear seats folded. The RWD version of the Marvel R offers a further 150 litres of space under the hood a.k.a. frunk, as it doesn’t have a front motor.

This being Europe, MG has to mention that the maximum towing weight is 750 kg, and the Marvel X can indeed tow a trailer or caravan, or two e-bikes on a special bicycle carrier. The MG Pilot suite of driver assist systems will be available.

What do you think of the Marvel X’s specs and design? The MG brand has been rumoured to enter Malaysia for some time now – despite the news resurfacing every now and then, it has yet to materialise.

GALLERY: MG ZS EV in Thailand