MG ZS EV Spotted With Local Registration, Official Launch Soon?

Could once-British-now-Chinese MG be plotting a return to the Malaysian market in the near future?

While MG has not been a thing in Malaysia since the British marque itself folded back in the early 2000s, there are however long been whispers regarding its imminent return with its new Chinese owners. Rumours which has since gained greater credence lately with the sighting of an MG4 being tested on the roads of KL, with more recently too this locally-registered ZS EV e-SUV spotted nestling deep within an underground carpark in roughly the same area. 

Now just to unfortunately burst any forming hype here, going by the number plate frame on this ZS EV, this particular light green example here at least is instead to be a privately imported unit, likely brought in by an enterprising grey importer. In fact, this actually isn’t to be the only one over here too, as it has since been reported over at a couple months ago for a red unit with only delivery milage to be struggling to find a buyer locally even at the low price of RM 70,000.

That said though, the official local return of MG may not actually be that far off. Such is for credible word within the industry for the once-British-now-Chinese automaker to once again set up shop in Malaysia come 2024 under the Berjaya distributorship umbrella. 

Aiming to continue on with the commercial success it has since saw in the UK, Australia and even our neighbours immediately to the North, information gleaned from the grapevine is for the aforementioned MG4 will apparently be arriving locally their premiere offering. 

As for this ZS EV model meanwhile, there is also the high potential for it to join the Golf-sized fully-electric hatchback in the local lineup too, with it being the MG’s answer to the soon-to-be-launched Chery Omoda E5 and hot-selling BYD Atto 3 in the surprisingly competitive (and entirely Chinese dominated) compact middle-class e-SUV segment. 

In the UK, the latest ZS EV is currently offered in four variants that is evenly split between two battery sizes of 49 kWh and 68.3 kWh. The former is good for 198 miles (320 km), while the latter is rated at 273 miles (440 km) on the WLTP test cycle. 

Strangely enough, the higher-powered front-mounted 130 kW motor is paired to the smaller battery to net century sprint time of 8 seconds. The slightly weaker 115 kW unit meanwhile has been paired to the larger-capacity battery pack, which in turn yields a marginally slower 0-100 km/h time of 8.2 seconds. 

It is also perhaps worth noting that there is indeed a fuel-drinking version of the ZS, which can be had with either a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder or a turbocharged three-pot that was developed in conjunction with GM. There is actually even a hybrid electric version too of this compact crossover dubbed the VS that has a total system output of 177 PS, with it to be differentiated from the rest of the lineup by way of a funky front grille. 

Launched initially in 2017 with a facelift performed in 2019, the ZS is currently the MG’s best selling model in international markets. It is incidentally also one of the most exported car from China, with its 85,279 units sold overseas in the first half of 2023 being just below the Shanghai-produced Tesla Model Y. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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