Impulse buy time. I’ve not bought many diecast models of late because, well, I thought I had all those that I wanted. Turns out I was wrong, and clearly have absolutely no clear vision of what I actually want to collect.
Every model I’ve collected so far has been of either a car that I thought historically significant, memorable in design or just plain intriguing, and it’s the latter category that the MG6 vaguely fits into. The SAIC MG 6, a car still being built in China today, and that still has elements of Rover 75 in its genetic makeup, was sold in the UK until very recently… and has all the hallmarks of a car that will become astonishingly obscure in a very short timescale.
So, of course, I had to add it to my collection.
Pictures get bigger and clearer if you click on them:
Yeah, the MG 6. It was an evolution of the Roewe 550, which itself arose from the Rover 75 after the British brand’s intellectual property entered the hands of SAIC Motor, the Shangai-based Chinese state-owned automotive powerhouse. It was imported to the UK from 2011 in a mildly cynical operation whereby the SAIC badges were peeled off at Longbridge and some MG ones attached instead.
This is, incidentally, the only model I’ve owned where I’ve reviewed the 1:1 version on Redusernab. .
Anyway. For reasons unknown, whichever company made this (it’s unbranded save for SAIC) opted for 1:16 instead of the more conventional (and useful) 1:18, and that’s a bit annoying if you actually wanted to display it among your other models. You could opt for silver or dark grey, but I fancied an actual colour so plumped for for Radioactive Pumpkin on mine.
I reckon they caught the overall proportions and shape of the MG6 very nicely. It really does look oddly tall and under-wheeled in person, with a great expanse of plastic before you reach the rather lofty headlamps, and rear wheelarches that reach only halfway up the doors. The roofline and DRL outline is vaguely reminiscent of a Toyota Prius, too.
The quality of the casting is close to first rate, with no obvious flaws or moulding lines, and the door fit is generally quite good. There are six opening features – all four doors, the hood and tailgate – the latter of which is detailed with bits of string that lift the parcel shelf in true family hatchback style.
The wheels are extremely well modelled, and the tyres carry a realistically simulated tread, although they’re free of any branding on the sidewalls. There’s a ‘working’ sprung suspension system beneath, although it’s a little bit cheaty with a fully-floating subframes that move with the wheels – I suspect it was a bit much to expect a working semi-trailing rear and MacPherson strut front setup. Otherwise, the underneath is exceptionally well detailed, running to silver-painted head deflection mounted above the detailed exhaust system.
The lights and badges deserve a mention, too, as they’re superbly observed. The rear designation badge and that on the engine cover are both covered by protective transparent strips that I don’t have the nerve to remove.
The underhood area is nicely modeled, too, with the requisite warning stickers, components, bits of piping and whatnot all present and correct, although the application of paint to the engine cover could have been more accurate. Being a pretty humdrum 1.8-litre turbocharged four, there’s little reason to want to spend too much time gazing under the bonnet, though.
Things might have been different if this was a model of another Roewe – one with the famous KV6 K-series V6 engine that I love so dearly (for slightly incomprehensible reasons).
The inside is pretty much as I remember it from my own time behind the wheel in an MG 6. There’s probably not a huge difference in material feel between this and the real thing, in terms of material quality, fit and finish.
The seats are formed from a material that replicates the feel of an upholstered surface thanks to a subtle, suede-like effect that can’t quite explain. That it doesn’t feel like shiny plastic is the thing. There’s carpeting throughout, and this includes the luggage compartment floor, sidewalls and parcel shelf. The headlining is pleasingly detailed, too, including the sunroof with its sliding blind (fixed in place, but authentic in looks), vanity lights and rear view mirror.
Only one thing really limits the appeal of this model, and that’s its subject matter. You can be entirely forgiven for having absolutely no interest whatsoever in owning a replica of a thoroughly unspectacular family saloon car based on seriously outmoded technology.
But hey, it could be the beginning of a whole new collecting category: cars that were singularly outclassed by their competition.
(All images copyright Chris Haining / Redusernab 2018)