With his Che Guevara posters and black beret, Wolfie Smith (from late 70s British Sitcom ‘Citizen Smith’), was a revolutionary that wanted ‘power to the people’. Sure some of his exploits were slightly awry, but he was a champion of the people and always brought a smile to my face – just like MG4 XPOWER!
As a brand, MG have been a champion for the people since they began in 1924, making cars that people love to drive, and their latest model, the MG4 embraces both the modernity of this new electric vehicle era, while still being good to drive. But with the XPOWER, they’ve made the MG4 even better.
Although my review vehicle came dressed in (optional) Hunter Green, when it comes to looks, the MG4 XPOWER is remarkably similar to the ‘regular’ model. The big giveaways though are its large orange brake callipers, new-design 18-inch wheels, active front air vents, and a silver rear diffuser plate – oh it’s also got an extra motor that gives this hot hatch 320kW of power, 600Nm of torque and a zero to 100km/h time of 3.8 seconds. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The interior has been spruced up a bit too, with contrast stitching and bright highlights, the seats come with an alcantara-style finish, and the infotainment screen comes with a Track Mode tab for performance data viewing. However, the rest is very familiar to those that have been inside the regular MG4, which is not a bad thing.
Having reviewed the MG4 before, for me the big thing was all about driving the XPOWER and experiencing the difference, and boy is it different.
The additional equipment that comes with the XPOWER quite literally transforms it to a whole new level. The off the mark sprint brings a hefty smile to your face and I did end up trying (in very special places of course) to better the 3.8 second claim – and did just quietly.
The power itself is of course EV-immediate, but oddly, it wasn’t as stomach churning as normal, maybe my digestive system is getting used to the shock. The steering is light and responsive and the handling is far superior to its 2WD siblings.
Behind the scenes is a 64kWh battery (gross) that should you decide to drive the XPOWER with some sense of normality (as if), will give you a little over 400km of range, to me, this just means that your driving thrill can last longer too.
While wandering around the exterior prior to getting behind the wheel, the bright orange brakes did make me smile, as it appeared to me that the cover was a bit of a facade, with plenty of gap behind – however, MG has explained that while both the MG4 and XPOWER brake system designs are similar, there are still a few key differences.
For starters, the XPOWER brake system is designed specifically to handle high heat and cool down rapidly, but most notably, the callipers are Continental branded. The discs are ventilated front and rear too with 345/340, with 30/22 thickness. The calliper covers are not just aesthetic either, they redirect the dust that comes off the brake pads toward the rear of the vehicle, so less of it flies out onto the outside surfaces of the wheels. The calliper covers on the XPOWER are not just aesthetic, they redirect the dust that comes off the brake pads toward the rear of the vehicle, so less of it flies out onto the outside surfaces of the wheels. Now this information may not be of interest to many, but the fact that it only 33.9 metres to pull up the XPOWER from 100km/h to 0 km/h, certainly will. It’s an abrupt pull up and adds to that overall sense of safety.
As with the 2WD MG4, the XPOWER comes with a suite of driver and safety aids too, and the likes of adaptive cruise control on the SH1 did allow me to take a breath between my more expressive drives. Like many modern vehicles, the levels of ‘aids/interference’ on this more powerful MG4 varies between assist and annoyance but alerts around things like traffic sign recognition can be switched off.
The geek inside of me was a big fan of the track mode data on the infotainment screen and it added extra spice to my drive, unsurprisingly, showing performance info (and trying to better it) became a bit of a thing, I really need to get out more.
I’m told that the MG4 XPOWER can be a bit of a handful in the wet, however, the sun shone brightly throughout my time with this AWD beast so I can’t comment, and to me, although it felt light on its feet, in short it was a thrilling, sporty experience that gave me all the power and performance I needed, while offering 400km+ of anxiety-free range.