Electric Cars Reviewed

MG Cyberster review: Electric sports car takes brand in a new direction

The MG Cyberster is a return to the brand’s two-door, drop-top past but is this electric sports car a worthy successor to its famous forefathers?


is, apparently, going to wow the world any day now with an electric roadster that can do 0-60 in the blink of an eye, use rocket power, drive itself around the world and be powered by unicorn farts.

But while Mr Musk’s minions work out how to achieve this, MG has beaten the Californian firm to the punch with an all-electric drop-top sports car you can actually buy right now.

MG used to be famous for its compact two-door, two-seat convertibles. It’s where the brand started back in 1914 and despite forays into tuning Austins and Rovers, it’s what it was building right until the administrators came knocking in 2005.

After being bought by China’s Nanjing Automobile Group (since taken over by SAIC), MG emerged as a very different brand. First churning out cheap but not very cheerful fare like the MG6 before finding its feet and enjoying rapid growth as the purveyor of budget friendly electric cars.

While decent but dull cars like the MG4 have helped revive the brand, there’s always been a feeling that the marque’s heritage deserves a little more. And it’s a feeling shared by MG’s bosses, who decided to mark its 100th anniversary by launching a modern take on the cars that made MG famous.

Started seven years ago, the Cyberster project has finally hit the roads in time for the centenary celebrations, offering a traditional two-seat drop-top style powered by a very 21st century powertrain.

Design, interior and technology

Let’s start off by addressing the elephant in the room, or on the road.

While the Cyberster looks like a traditional MG with its two doors, fabric roof and long bonnet, it’s a lot bigger than any previous roadster. In fact, at 4.5 metres long and 1.9m wide, it’s as big as the Ford Explorer SUV. And it’s a bit of a tubster too, weighing in at a whisker under two tonnes.

MG Cyberster

But don’t be discouraged because, for all that it is a big machine, it looks brilliant. MG’s London-based designers have stayed true to the traditional roadster layout, with a long, low bonnet, mid-mounted cabin and gently sloping rear deck with broad haunches and a neat little flick of a spoiler.

Some photos make the Cyberster look awkward but, in the metal, the shape really works, especially when darker bodywork is complemented with the optional red fabric roof. It looks exactly as you’d want a 21st century MG to.

It’s not just the overall shape that works, smaller details such as the arrow-shaped rear lights and the black belt line that run across the rear deck add to the style. And there’s the small matter of the electric scissor doors that sweep up at the touch of a button to allow you to climb inside.

Inside, the cabin is surprisingly tight for a relatively large car. If you’re more than six feet tall, you’ll struggle for leg and head room. If you’re shorter than that, there’s plenty of adjustment in the seats and steering wheel and decent width for two to sit side by side. The 249-litre boot is big enough for a couple of overnight bags or, apparently, a golf bag.

The cabin is mostly finished in faux suede fabric and faux leather, and you can choose between a grey/cream combo or a black/red one. Material quality feels like a significant step up from other MGs, reflecting this car’s place as the brand’s halo model. It won’t cause sleepless nights in Stuttgart but, overall, the Cyberster feels solid and well put together, with tactile touches such as genuinely metal paddles for selecting regen strength and driving modes.

Unfortunately, the dashboard appears to have been designed by someone who’s watched too many episodes of Knight Rider. It’s dominated by a wraparound three-screen ‘cockpit’ that places a 10.25-inch instrument display between two seven-inch touchscreens for media/navigation and some vehicle settings.

It sounds like a neat idea and the main instruments are clear and useful but the two smaller screens are almost entirely blocked by your hands as you drive, rendering them nearly useless on the move. They might have worked better with the proposed steering yoke (a la Knight Rider) but that’s apparently been binned. A fourth screen next to the drive selector in the centre console controls the air condition and various vehicle settings.

MG Cyberster interior

Sadly, like their layout, the MG’s systems are nowhere near as smart as KITT. Each screen houses a baffling array of menus and submenus that take an age to swipe and scroll between. Some of these are vital, such as the climate and vehicle settings, others seem utterly unnecessary – a five-day weather forecast and MG dealer directory, for instance – and there’s no clear logic to their arrangement. The problems extend to the driver ‘assistance’ systems which are overly intrusive and inaccurate. Making matters worse is that once you’ve navigated through multiple menus to deactivate them, they continue to bing and bong at you regardless.

It makes me despair that such poorly considered technology makes it through testing and to production. Especially when elsewhere the car has been so well and thoughtfully engineered.

Battery, motor and performance

Which brings me, conveniently, onto how the car drives.

MG wants the Cyberster to be a worthy celebration of its heritage and it really nails that brief.

There are two powertrain options. The Trophy uses a single rear-mounted motor producing 335bhp, while the GT adds another motor on the front axle for a total of 503bhp. In both cases, energy comes from a 77kWh battery with a range of 276-316 miles.

The Trophy’s 0-62mph sprint of five seconds feels pretty rapid, accompanied by a subtle but noticeable electronic whirr. But the GT delivers a true gut punch of acceleration, whether that’s from a standstill – 0-62mph takes just 3.2 seconds – or piling on pace out of a corner.

As is so often the case, what the extra motor adds in pace it takes away in agility. The Trophy, shorn of 100kg compared with the GT feels lighter and pointier but neither disappoints on the open road.

Our test route took in some spectacular but challenging roads in and around the Cairngorms where the Cyberster shone. Perhaps its biggest talent is disguising its size and weight, which it does remarkably well. Once you’re pressing on along a twisting road it feels far more compact than the on-paper stats would suggest.

The steering is sharp but not fidgety, and turns in with precision, pivoting beautifully thanks to perfect 50:50 weight distribution. It’s not too hard to get the Trophy’s back end wriggling around on the exit of a corner, but the GT is more composed but more brutal in the way it steams away from corners.

MG Cyberster

Bespoke Pirelli tyres provide plenty of grip and the  three-stage regenerative braking is well balanced and calibrated to allow flowing high-speed driving, while the four-pot Brembos have plenty of progressive power when you need them.

Double wishbone suspension at the front and a multilink arrangement at the rear help ensure surefooted progress and while there’s just a hint of body roll in the corners the payoff for that is a ride that’s impressively composed whether you’re on a B road or a motorway.

Price and specification

The Cyberster is MG’s halo model and, as such, it’s not cheap. The Trophy model is £54,995, while the GT is £59,995.

Visually, the two grades of car are only distinguishable by the wheels – 19 inches on the Trophy and 20 inches on the GT. And that’s the only equipment difference too, apart from the GT’s second motor.

All cars get heated seats and steering wheel, an eight-speaker Bose stereo, smartphone mirroring, sat nav, all-round parking sensors and a reversing camera. Keyless entry and the powered doors are also standard along with a hefty but not entirely welcome list of driver assistance systems.

It’s an entirely different league to MG’s usual positioning but it’s also an entirely different product. Not just from other MGs but from anything else on sale – this really is the only brand-new all-electric roadster on offer right now.



What’s pleasing about the Cyberster is that it’s a great advert for electric sports cars.

It looks the part but, more importantly, it backs that up with an engaging and grin-inducing driving experience.

If MG was looking for a car worthy of marking its 100th anniversary, it has found it in the Cyberster.

MG Cyberster

MG Cyberster GT

  • Price: £59,995
  • Powertrain: two-motor, all-wheel-drive
  • Battery: 77kWh
  • Power: 503bhp
  • Torque: 535lb ft
  • Top speed: 125mph
  • 0-62mph: 3.2 seconds
  • Range: 276 miles
  • Consumption: 3.2m/kWh
  • Charging: up to 150kW
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Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of inews.co.uk, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.