#ElectricCarToQatar: Will the MG4 survive the ultimate test?
Modern electric cars are almost unrecognisable in comparison to what was on offer decade ago. Not only can a modern EV go further and charge faster, it won’t cost you the earth to put one on your driveway. A capable, desirable electric car is now within reach of more people than ever before – for many customers, that’s never been truer than with the all-new MG4 Electric.
Since launch in September 2022, the MG4 Electric has proven itself as one of the most affordable compact EVs available. With three ‘Car of the Year’ awards in United Kingdom, a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and countless customer orders under its belt, the all-new model has aced just about every challenge it’s been faced with… But in the lead up to the 2022 Qatar World Cup, a small team of Welsh football fans were busy devising the toughest test any electric car could hope to be faced with.
The proposition sounded simple on paper: drive a brand new MG4 Long Range from Wales to Qatar, reaching the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in time to watch the Welsh team play their first World Cup match in 64 years. In reality, this gruelling, 18-day, 17-country odyssey was enough to have any vehicle feeling hot under the collar.
A pleasant surprise
The journey began on the 28th October in the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan countryside, outside the headquarters of the Welsh Football Association. The team of four co-drivers were climbing aboard their Arctic White MG4 Electric, nicknamed ‘Morris’, with sights set on France. Around 5,000 miles of road lay before them – but besides the eye-catching Electric Car to Qatar livery, the MG4 they were using was identical to an example you’d find in the showroom.
Four men from South Wales were on board for the duration, with driving duties led by former Cardiff City player and Coach Scott Young. Although a professional football career of over 400 appearances meant Scott was used to a little pressure, the team’s lead wheelman was a self-confessed electric car sceptic.
“I must admit, I was a little apprehensive about whether any car would be up to the job,” said Scott. “There’s no doubt that we’ve seen huge improvements in electric car technology over the last decade, but I wasn’t convinced a brand-new compact EV would be able to do the miles like the large SUVs I’m used to driving. I’m pleased to say I was in for a pleasant surprise.”
Alongside Nick Smith and Walter Pennell, award winning cinematographer Huw Talfryn Walters would also be onboard to capture the adventure, as the team set off on the first 332-mile leg to the bustling French city of Lille, close to the Belgian border.
Satisfied with the driving quality
With day one dispatched, the team wasted no time on the second chapter towards Luxembourg – passing through Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany as part of a mammoth, 358-mile cross-border stretch.
By Luxembourg, the MG4 had already proven itself as an excellent tool for the job. Capable of travelling 281 miles between charges, the team were able to cover huge distances between each charging station, which could be found along the route using an onboard EV charger location map.
The next six days saw the MG4 travel over 1,700 miles, the team taking in some of the best sights that Europe has to offer along the way. Often regarded as the best driving road in the world, Italy’s iconic Stelvio Pass was the perfect opportunity to discover whether the MG4’s driving qualities lived up to the hype. With rear-wheel drive and 50:50 weight distribution, the MG4 has already been touted as the best handling car in its class by the motoring press.
“I’d read the rave reviews about the driving experience on offer and the MG4 certainly didn’t disappoint,” added Scott. “I’d never thought an electric car could be this good – it really can put a smile on the face of even its toughest critic. On the Stelvio Pass, it passed a serious test with flying colours.”
The plucky MG4 continued on through the Dolomites, passing Austria’s Landskron Castle and Lake Wörthersee. Croatia, Serbia and North Macedonia passed in as many days – by the nineth, a fantastic effort all round meant the team were arriving in Athens.
Performed flawlessly for over 4,000 miles
Reaching the Greek capital was a landmark moment for Scott, Nick, Walter and Huw. After well-earned refreshments at the restaurant (and charging station), the team delivered ‘Morris’ to the port, where it would start the four-day journey by sea to Israel.
On day 14, reunited with ‘Morris’ at Hafia Port, Israel, the team travelled on to Jerusalem. The four Welshmen had already witnessed some of the world’s most wonderous sights on their journey so far but reaching one of the oldest cities in the world was something special.
The MG4 performed flawlessly over the next 800 miles, pressing on towards Saudi Arabia via Amman and Waddi Rum. The signs were good, with ‘Morris’ continuing through the most challenging roads Jordan had to offer – but the team were held up upon reaching the border.
With just 1,200 miles to go, at the border of Saudi Arabia, the team were caught up in red tape. Despite weeks of planning and preparation, the team were not allowed to drive into the country in a right-hand drive vehicle. ‘Morris’ had performed flawlessly for over 4,000 miles – only its steering wheel configuration prevented it from reaching Qatar in time for the Welsh kick-off.
Although officialdom prevented the MG4 Electric from reaching its final destination, there’s no denying it gave the team a stellar performance throughout. And the verdict from Scott the EV sceptic? Well, he was busy deciding the specification for his own MG4 before he reached Qatar…