News/ Launches/ A More Conventional MG Electric SUV Could Be Coming Soon!

A More Conventional MG Electric SUV Could Be Coming Soon!

JSW MG Motors India promised a new car every few months starting this festive season. They plan to achieve this partly by leveraging vehicles from their parent company alliance, SIAC Motor.  The Baojun Yep Plus, built on the same (GSEV) Comet EV platform, is the latest offering under this alliance in China. Could MG attract Indian SUV buyers with a version of the Yep or Yep Plus?

There are signs suggesting they might. MG trademarked the design in India earlier this year, aligning with their aggressive future plans.

What is Baojun Yep Plus?

The Baojun Yep Plus offers a more conventional design compared to the MG Comet EV. While the Comet garnered attention in India, opinions were mixed.  Some appreciated its compact size and city-friendliness, while others were put off by its unusual shape.  The rear, for instance, resembled a refrigerator to some, and the front a Chinese van. Regardless, the MG Comet EV found a niche market in metro cities, with Vipul Punetha drifting it even impressed many of us in the office.

The Baojun Yep Plus, while not the most perfectly proportioned SUV, falls squarely within the popular sub-4 meter SUV segment. It even borrows design inspiration from the Jimny and Defender, giving it a more macho look.

Exterior Design

Drawing similarities to the Jimny, Baojun offers both a 3-door Yep and a 5-door Yep Plus configuration. Only time will tell which version, if any, will make it to India.  However, let's look at the larger Yep Plus with its 2,560mm wheelbase, 1,760mm width, and 1,726mm height.

The front features an upright, straight bonnet with a frunk (front trunk), a closed grille, and black bumpers.  Modern, boxy-shaped LED lights carry the design philosophy forward.

The rugged plastic wheel arch claddings, roof rails, and four chunky (relative to the car's size) 16-inch wheels give the SUV a capable look.  Defender inspiration can be seen on the C-pillar with a similar body-colored panel. The rear end is almost flat, but with a white beltline element that adds a touch of style.  Further channeling the Jimny, the rear door opens sideways. The 3-door Yep was also showcased with an LCD screen mounted on the beltline with matching graphics.

Interior Design

The 5-door Yep Plus will likely be compact but it will manage to seat 4 adults more comfortably than the Comet EV. The biggest improvement in space will be at the back, with a respectable 385L boot capacity.

The dash layout is expected to be similar to the Comet EV but with a darker color scheme. The Chinese Yep Plus sports black and body color matching interiors with soft-touch materials on the dash and doors.  The feature list includes a 10-inch infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay, premium speakers, keyless entry and go, and more. It's unlikely to get the ADAS suite (Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems) if it comes to India.

Powertrain and Price

The Baojun Yep Plus uses an electric motor producing 101hp (45 kW) and 180Nm of torque, driving the front wheels. This contrasts with the rear-wheel-drive MG Comet EV and its single 41hp (30 kW) motor. The Chinese variant also draws power from a larger 41.9 kWh battery pack compared to the 17.3 kWh on the Comet. Considering battery import duties, the Indian MG Yep (or whatever they name it) will likely have different specifications altogether.

The MG Comet EV is priced at Rs 6.99-9.24 lakh. We expect Indian variants of the Yep and Yep Plus to be priced between of Rs 10-18 lakh, which is higher than the 10-12 lakh converted pricing at which it is currently being sold in China. 

TopGear Magazine May 2024