The editorial staff’s tops/flops (9/14)

Top: MG Cyberster

This little MG roadster is absolutely beautiful.

If I’m talking about a relatively affordable, simple little roadster, focused on looks and sportiness? The first idea that comes to mind is the Mazda MX-5, logically since it is the only representative in the field. But an English brand, finally Chinese since 2006, has a very attractive model in its boxes, it is the Cyberster from MG. It was presented as a concept at the Shanghai show in 2021, but deposit drawings of the final version were leaked this year. The latter first shows everyone that it is in the finalization process. Then, they show a roadster, definitely calmer compared to the concept, but in reality there is an attraction. Canvas hood, long hood, set back cabin, short rears, all the ingredients of a great car come together.

The editorial staff's tops/flops (9/14)

In addition, MG took care of details such as the light signature that captures the Union Jack of the United Kingdom, the small aluminum-colored hoops, the yoke-type steering wheel and especially the elytra doors, Lamborghini style! This Cyberster should be sold in 2024 and the powder can talk thanks to a 330 kW (449 hp) electric motor that will propel it to 100 km / h in 3 seconds. Autonomy will reach 800 km in the Chinese approval cycle, which is worse than our WLTP.

Only, a 180 kW engine (245 hp) is more than enough to have some sensations. A range of 400 km will allow for great weekend trips and will have the advantage of keeping costs down. We can imagine an MG Cyberster under the bar of 30,000 €. A fun car, not subject to penalties, and not making your banker wince… These days, that’s good!

Flop: the end of cheap cars?

A Fiat Panda charged from €13,000, a Dacia Sandero starting at €11,490, a Volkswagen Up close to €17,000 in base price, these prices are no longer attractive for simple city cars. Not so long ago, the first two did not exceed €10,000 and the German €15,000. Yes, but here, inflation comes through and causes the price of cars to rise.

The editorial staff's tops/flops (9/14)

But another trend awaits manufacturers, and therefore consumers. The Peugeot 108 and Citroën C1 are no longer in the catalog, the Ford Fiesta will surely bow out in favor of a future crossover, which will surely be sold at a higher price… “Affordable” small cars are well and truly on time which is borrowed. . Even premium manufacturers, with more comfortable margins than mainstream brands, will cut back. For its part, Mercedes announced that it will reduce the number of models in the “Entry Luxury” segment (Class A Sedan, CLA, Class B, etc.). Jaguar and Audi have also announced that they want to favor models sold at higher prices. The goal is to sell less, but more expensive. Mercedes, Audi or even Jaguar don’t make “people’s cars” but the tone is set.

The advent of the electric car is not going in the direction of the economy. However, European manufacturers are working on small cars. The Volkswagen Group will launch three city cars in 2025 (under the Volkswagen, Skoda and Cupra badges) but their base prices will vary between €20,000 and €25,000, the price of a GTi before inflation (an almost extinct species) . For its part, Renault will launch its R5 at a cost of more than €20,000, if the price of raw materials does not continue to rise. Dacia’s Spring, a cheap brand par excellence, was sold for €16,990 at the end of 2020. It is now shown at €20,800. The days of €10,000 cars seem far away.

My wish for 2023

The return of the little GTi. A compact size (about 4.00 meters long), a “comfortable” power of 200 hp and a sharp chassis, that’s the recipe for fun. A pleasure incompatible with electrification, on the contrary. A battery in the floor lowers the center of gravity, a torque-boosted electric motor ensures strong acceleration. And if it sends its Watts to the rear axle, it’s even better! Pack it all in with a reasonable accumulator containing weight and price, and you have a modern Clio RS, 208 GTi or Fiesta ST.

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