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Going the distance

‘Turner Twins’ drive the electric MG Cyberster from London to Shanghai, passing through the Philippines in between

By Dylan Afuang

HUGO AND ROSS TURNER — British adventurers and identical twins — are famous for taking unlikely equipment in treacherous travels. The “Turner Twins” have rowed across the Atlantic Ocean and trekked over the Greenland ice cap in 100-year-old mountaineering gear. Soon, the brothers will be known for driving an electric vehicle from London to Shanghai.

In MG’s #ChargingIntoTheFuture tour, they are taking the British-Chinese brand’s Cyberster in a cross-continental journey that spans roughly 16,000 kilometers from one major city to another.

The monumental road trip should demonstrate the sports car’s reliability and capability — well before its global sales scheduled this year. For its local debut, the EV is slated to launch at the 2024 Manila International Auto Show on Thursday.

In September 2023, the pair’s road trip began at MG’s birthplace in Oxford and around the United Kingdom. The European leg of the journey followed and, after a brief pause, the brothers this 2024 continued their quest through the Middle East.

In Asia, they’ve gone through Thailand so far, and after the Philippines, they will travel to Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, then to China, driving from Beijing to Shanghai, where the tour is scheduled to conclude this April.

From March 15 to 17, the Turner Twins explored the Philippines — possibly country number 23 in their itinerary. Mere hours after they arrived, local MG distributor SAIC Motor Philippines hosted a dinner during which local media met the twins and learned more about their expedition.

Hugo shared with “Velocity” then zzthat they were to drive the Cyberster down South Luzon to Taal, Batangas, then up north to Bataan.

“We’re in a series of projects and adventures to test new technologies, so we can learn more about our world,” Hugo stated in his message to the media. “It’s really crucial in this time in humanity that we understand more about the technologies that we’re using to protect the environment that we’re living in. And the #ChargingIntoTheFuture project is an extension of that.”

The Cyberster destined for the local market is expected to arrive with a dual-motor setup. This generates 544ps and 725Nm of torque, good for a zero-to-100kph dash of 3.2 seconds. With a full battery, the Cyberster has a quoted range of 520km. Complementing the performance is a sleek design, swing-up doors, and a luxurious interior.

Wearing all smiles, the twins shared impressions of their near zero-emission road warrior.

“At a set of traffic lights in Bahrain, we tested that it can do the (zero-to-100kph) in 2.9 seconds,” Hugo said, pointing out the stark difference from the manufacturer’s claim. “The performance is incredible, it’s a fun car, it feels like a convertible sports car should be.”

Ross added, “We’ve taken it in every single environment, from a severe rain in Wales, the car handled brilliantly, and in the desert of Saudi Arabia, it was equally right at home.”

And what’s it like driving an EV for tens of thousands of kilometers?

“We designed the project with charging in mind,” Ross answered a question from the media. “Is it feasible? Yes, it is, if you change your mind about from the destination to the journey and who you will take with you. The distances we’ve been traveling had been one charge of the Cyberster.

“That makes it so much more like a journey. With an EV, there’s a calmness there, like we’re ‘taking it all in.’ We can’t go too fast, we have to drive carefully. That’s the difference of driving an EV (compared to a combustion-powered vehicle),” Ross said.

He concluded, “One exciting thing for us is that the Cyberster marks MG’s pioneering vision. For us Brits, it’s a fabric of automotive society there, and to see many classic cars that have journeyed across the world and that spirit still lives on (with MG).”

The twin’s Cyberster excursion can be tracked on chargingintothefuture.com/.

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