Home » The MG EXE181 Electric Hypercar Concept Is Exactly What A Concept Car Should Be

The MG EXE181 Electric Hypercar Concept Is Exactly What A Concept Car Should Be

Mg Exe181 Concept Ts2
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Streamliners are cool, and the MG EXE181 concept is a concept car in its purest form – a vision unchained from reality. Given the fuzzy crystal ball of where the car industry might be going, it’s the type of project that doesn’t make sense despite the fact that we need it. It’s about to make its debut at Auto China this week, so let’s get into it.

This year marks 100 years since the founding of the original MG brand in Europe, and since acquiring a brand means assuming heritage, that’s exactly what Chinese carmaker SAIC Motor is doing, and it’s decided to borrow a page from the original EX181 from 1957. To create that masterpiece, MG took the twin-cam four-cylinder engine from the MGA sports car, then worked it over and supercharged it to the moon and back until it produced 300 horsepower. MG then slotted it into a streamliner body, with the resulting machine driven by Stirling Moss, and later, Phil Hill. The top speed with Hill behind the wheel? An astonishing 254 mph.

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Here’s a look at that car:

Unsurprisingly, the reborn EXE181 concept features a similar ultra-slippery silhouette, but looks much larger than the original. Still, this concept claims a drag coefficient of 0.181, and while that’s not as slippery as, say, the 1954 Fiat Turbina, it’s still quite impressive. Mind you, the original EXE181 reportedly had a drag coefficient of 0.12, so there’s some improvement to be had.

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Mg Exe181 Concept (1)

On the inside, a digital driver’s display suggests this thing features a quad-motor electric powertrain, which MG says would be good for zero-to-62 mph in 1.9 seconds. Sure, the Rimac Nevera is quicker, but a time like that wouldn’t be anything to sneeze at. We’re still talking about toupee-removing acceleration, the sort that could really mash your mind up.

Mg Exe181 Concept (2)

However, beyond theoretical performance figures and slippery aerodynamics, the MG EXE181 concept offers a gloriously impractical form factor, filled with touches that dare to dream.

Mg Exe181 Concept

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A massive tinted canopy covering the passenger cell and most of the front end? Wildly impractical, yet exceptionally cool. Aerodynamic wheel covers that always stay correctly oriented? Virtually impossible, given how self-centering center caps wobble a bit at speed, but rather cool. Seating for one? Sure, why not. Parachutes? Oh hell yeah.

Mg Exe181 Concept (3)

So what if the bodywork is so shrink-wrapped that the front wheels might have difficulty steering too far, or if there are no obvious concessions to street use? This thing presents like a pure concept car, and that’s way cooler than a reworked preview of some midsize crossover The MG EXE181 Concept might not be the best streamliner ever, but it’s still more interesting than the bulk of recent concept cars, and proof automakers should let designers off the leash more often.

(Photo credits: MG)

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Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
1 month ago

I believe the ghosts of Phil Hill and Stirling Moss would like a word. Good grief, Chinese companies are getting as bad about ripping off the past as millennial-and-younger musicians and filmmakers are. Build it if you must, but call it something else. And while you’re at it, let the MG marque rest in peace. It died in 1980.

Toecutter
Toecutter
1 month ago

We need an inexpensive sports car EV with a similarly slippery form factor, if a manufacturer really wants to get the attention of people seeking good value for the money who are holding onto that money. EVs offer a value proposition that ICE cannot, but you need to keep the battery pack size down to make this possible. The cost per horsepower for both electric motors and control electronics are dirt cheap in mass production, so power/performance is something an EV can offer without much cost. What costs is the storage capacity of the battery, which is a major component of range, and which a heavy focus on aero streamlining allows range to stay acceptable while greatly reducing the size of the battery, the cost of the car, and most importantly for a performance car, its mass.

Gilbert Wham
Gilbert Wham
1 month ago

Yes, yes, electric vaporware, very nice. Now, this boosted, twin-cam 300hp MGA block: I need them in crates, so they can be fitted to old British cars. For Science, you see.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
1 month ago

That’s lovely. Lets see it in the metal (composite?).

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
1 month ago

And, now, release the Hotwheels commemoration so the rest of us can hope to own one.

BunkyTheMelon
BunkyTheMelon
1 month ago

“The MG EXE181 Electric Hypercar Concept Is Exactly What A Concept Car Should Be”

A render?

Mustang 'DontHitTheCrowd' GT
Mustang 'DontHitTheCrowd' GT
1 month ago
Reply to  BunkyTheMelon

Seriously.. I want to see this thing really in action

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