Javed Afridi recently tweeted about the MG RX8 mentioning that the “legend will be here in your town soon” while asking his followers for price suggestions. Although Afridi often teases various MG vehicles on his social profiles but the recent import of few test units including the RX8 suggest that MG is seriously considering to introduce this vehicle in our market.
The name RX8 shouldn’t confuse you with the Mazda RX8 which was popular among performance car enthusiasts and was available in our market in the no-so-distant-past as well. However unlike Mazda RX8 sports car, the MG RX8 is a mid-sized 7-seat SUV which is built on ladder-frame chassis with 4×4 and is a proper off-roading vehicle. Its basically a rebadged version of Roewe RX8 sold by Chinese automotive giant Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) in China and was launched in September 2019 primarily for the Middle Eastern market.
From the price point of view, one can expect the MG RX8 to fall in the same league of Kia Sorento and Toyota Fortuner, means around PKR 8 million or above. However being a ladder-frame mid-sized 7-seat SUV, it will be a direct competitor to Toyota Fortuner in Pakistan. While the Fortuner comes in both petrol & diesel powered variants, the MG RX8 has a lone 2.0L turbocharged petrol engine in its arsenal but interestingly it fits nicely between the available Fortuner engines as far as the displacement & output figures are concerned.
Toyota Fortuner in Pakistan comes with a choice of two engines- a 2.7L 2TR-FE naturally aspirated petrol good for 164hp of power and 245 Nm of torque and 2.8L 1GD-FTV inter-cooled turbodiesel which churns out 201 hp of power and a staggering 500 Nm of torque. On the other hand, the 20L4E turbocharged petrol engine in the MG RX8 produces 224 hp and 350 Nm and despite being with the smallest displacement (compared to Fortuner) delivers ample power and torque figures thanks to the turbo assistance.
|Fortuner 2.7L Petrol||2694cc||164hp||245Nm|
|MG RX8 2.0T Petrol||1995cc||224hp||350Nm|
|Fortuner 2.8L Diesel||2755cc||201hp||500Nm|
Off course the torque of MG RX8 is no way near to the 2.8L Fortuner diesel but its much more than the 2.7L petrol powered version of its Toyota rival. Whereas, the 224 hp it produces is the highest when compared to that of both the Fortuner variants. And while the Fortuner delivers its power via standard 6-speed sequential automatic transmission (with paddle shifters) across the range, the MG RX8 does that in pretty similar fashion too, with 6AT and paddle shifters.
In terms of dimensions, the MG RX8 is bigger than the Fortuner. Its longer and wider while having a larger wheelbase but stands marginally shorter than the Toyota rival as far as the height is concerned.
The list of features & equipment offered with the MG RX8 is also quite impressive as it has got all the bells and whistles including a multi-function steering, 10.1-inch touchscreen multimedia system, tire pressure monitoring system, panoramic roof, dual-zone climate control, rear ac with dedicated climate control, electrically adjustable seats with heating system for driver & front passenger, and a number of safety features including 6 airbags, ESP (ABS+EBD+CBC+TCS+VDC+HBA+HBB+HAZ+HHC+BDW）Hill Descent Control, Active Rollover Protection, Front and Rear Parking Sensors, Rear Parking Camera with Guideline, Cruise Control, Engine Immobilizer and much more. However it remains to be seen which features will be available with the MG RX8 sold in our market. Do note that there is also an up-spec version in Middle Eastern markets called RX8 Lux which comes as a 5-seater and offers more goodies than the regular 7-seat variants.
While the government is pushing for more affordable cars for the masses by lowering taxes on smaller vehicles, MG looks more interested in grabbing the premium chunk of the market with the likes of RX8 SUV. Though it does have plans to bring electric vehicles in the local market, few of those have been imported for trials & tests which will come in addition to the already available ZS EV, still the likes of smaller cars such as the MG3 hatchback is something the masses are eagerly waiting for.
If launched, the MG RX8 will be the first true competitor of Toyota Fortuner in our market which is doing exceptionally well as far as the sales are concerned having sold 3,543 units in FY20-21 compared to 1,163 units sold a year earlier in FY19-20 witnessing a 204% increase. Whether the RX8 will see similar success as that of Fortuner, we will have to wait to find out. But a lot depends on the after sales support as well as the price of the vehicle. And since Jawed Afridi has also asked for price suggestion, what do you think should be the ideal price of the MG RX8 SUV in Pakistan? Let us know with your comments.
The MG RX8
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com