This is one of the new generation of cars that MG Rover's hopes are riding on.
It is the replacement for the mid-range MG ZS that the company hopes to bring to the market next year as part of its joint venture with Chinese carmaker Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (Saic).
Together with its Rover equivalent, the Rover 45, the new MG ZS will be the forerunner of a new range of cars to be built at Longbridge and in China aimed at pulling Britain's last independent carmaker out of its sales slump.
The pictures are unofficial ones obtained by national magazine Auto Express, and MG Rover itself is saying nothing about the make-or-break model which, ironically, is due to be unveiled at next year's British Motor Show.
It is expected go on sale in late 2006 and will be available in both threeand five-door variants and be powered by 1.8 petrol, 2.0 litre or 2.5-litre V6 versions of MG Rover's own K Series engine.
Codenamed the X60, the new MG will have a sporty interior with bucket seats, a leather steering wheel and carbon fibre dashboard inserts. The Rover version, codenamed RD60, will have leather upholstery and wooden trim.
The car is currently undergoing hot weather trials in the Australian outback, it is understood.
Ever since Phoenix Venture Holdings bought the Rover business from BMW for £10 in 2000 it has struggled to bring badly needed new cars to the market and has had to constantly upgrade and tweak the existing ageing range.