This is the first picture of the car MG bosses hope will take on Land Rover in its own backyard.
The MG Icon was revealed at China’s biggest motoring event, the Beijing Motor Show.
Chinese-owned MG Motor UK threw out a direct challenge to heavyweight neighbours Land Rover by unveiling the Freelander-style vehicle.
The concept car was unveiled just weeks after the Mail revealed an SUV vehicle was in the pipeline at Longbridge.
The MG Icon has been created by the company’s Birmingham-based global design team, headed by British director Anthony Williams-Kenny, and has been inspired by some of MG’s most famous cars, including the MGA and MGB GT.
Although only a concept at this stage, a production version of the compact SUV is likely to form part of the next generation of vehicles produced at Longbridge.
Mr Williams-Kenny said: “The MG Icon represents our vision of a modern MG and we feel the small SUV canvas demonstrates MG’s capacity for progressive design with respect for its long heritage.
“The MG Icon highlights a global vision for MG’s design and represents a milestone for the brand, particularly this year which marks the 50th anniversary of the MG B.”
The SUV plans emerged as MG Motor UK cranks up production levels following the launch last spring of the MG6, the first all-new MG for 16 years.