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 |  Dec 12 2011, 9:45 PM

It’s a far cry from the 1960s and 1970s when in Britain, you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a MGB or Midget. It was almost a similar story in the United States, which for much of the postwar period was Britain’s largest single vehicle export market.

Nonetheless, despite a very troubled recent history and selling so few cars in the UK last month (three of the seven were MG TF mid-engined roadsters, the other four MG 6 hatchback/sedan models), current parent, China’s Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC, which builds the MG 6 and ships complete knocked down examples for final assembly in the UK), has said it isn’t giving up on the brand.

Part of the firm’s strategy with MG is the introduction of several new models for the UK market, including the MG 3, which is aimed at the likes of popular sellers such as the Ford Fiesta, Peugeot 208 and Toyota Yaris.

This should help bolster sales, as despite being on the market for less than a year, the MG 6 is a relatively large car by UK standards, competing in a segment where demand is shrinking. The lack of a diesel option and a hoary old, relatively thirsty 1.8-liter turbocharged gas engine that can trace its roots back to the mid-1980s certainly aren’t helping matters, despite the 6 earning a four-star crash rating in NCAP safety tests.

Besides the MG 3 it will be interesting to see what other new models materialize; a  ”halo” replacement for the TF, which can trace its roots all the way back to 1995 is long overdue and would certainly help bolster the brand’s reputation as a maker of fun, affordable sports cars, something it was synonymous with back in its heyday.

[Source: Left Lane News]

 |  Jul 26 2011, 7:00 PM

Thanks to the success of Mazda‘s MX-5 GT, which competes in the UK’s Britcar Production GTN championship, the Hiroshima company has decided to release a pair of special ‘Black Limited Edition’ Mazda models, inspired by the race car.

Interestingly, despite it’s name, the ‘Sport Black’ Edition MX-5, available at UK dealers from July, is offered in exterior hues of Crystal White Pearlescent, Spirited Green Metallic and Velocity Red mica; that said, the car does sport a ‘Brilliant Black’ finished retractable hardtop; black trimmed upholstery with sand stitching and a black finished steering wheel and deco panel, though the 17-inch alloy wheels are actually finished in dark gunmetal gray.

Special ‘Black Limited Edition’ badging, unique floormats and a full roster of comfort and entertainment options, including a premium Bose sound system, climate control, and Bluetooth hands free system are also included.

All ‘Black Limited Edition’ MX-5s are based on the Sport Tech model and are powered by the 2.-0-liter 160 metric horsepower twin-cam four, coupled with a six-speed manual gearbox.

The Mazda2 based ‘Black Limited Edition’ follows a similar theme to its two-seater stablemate, offered in identical exterior colors, save for the red, which is a slightly different shade – True  Red. Other exterior touches include special black vinyl roof treatment, matte black finished 16-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass and special rear bumper trim. Like the MX-5 version it boasts special exterior and interior badging, standard Bluetooth and special floormats.

Just 500 examples of the MX-5 Black edition will be produced, along with 618 of its Mazda2 counterpart. Priced at £22,995 and £12,815 respectively both cars represent quite a good buy by UK standards.