MG Astor will compete with the likes of Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Skoda Kushaq and upcoming Volkswagen Taigun
With launch expected in a couple of weeks, MG Astor has been spotted on road tests several times this year. MG Astor is essentially a petrol version of MG ZS EV. It is expected to be called Astor, as the name was recently registered by the company in India. In international markets such as UK, the SUV is referred to as MG ZS.
MG Astor in new camo
Latest sighting is a bit different, as the test mule can be seen wearing an entirely new type of camo. Instead of the usual white and grey camo design, the SUV is wrapped entirely in black. There’s a large ‘AI Inside’ sticker on the side, which indicates that the SUV will pack in AI-based Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS).
It could get features such as blind spot detection, front collision warning, lane departure warning, hands-free auto parking, adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking system. The new camo also has a plethora of funky emoticons, displayed as part of a connected network.
These are probably indicative of internet connected smart features that are available with the current set of MG cars. Called i-Smart, the advanced platform offers more than 50 connected features.
Some of the key functions include find my car, geo fencing, emergency assistance, voice commands, vehicle health reports, weather and navigation. With i-Smart, users can also access several functions remotely such as engine start, climate control on/off, and open/close sunroof, tailgate and door lock.
For Astor’s internet platform, MG has partnered with Reliance Jio. Astor will be using an M2M embedded SIM, Jio’s telecom network and other software/hardware needed to make the entire thing work. The e-SIM is likely to be 5G ready, making it future proof. 5G is currently being tested extensively in India by telecom companies including Jio. With 5G network, the connected car experience is expected to get much better.
MG Astor engine
Official specs have not been revealed. As per rumours, Astor customers will have the option to choose between a 1.5 litre naturally aspirated petrol motor and a 1.3 litre turbo petrol unit. The larger one is capable of generating 118 bhp of max power and 150 Nm of peak torque.
The smaller turbo unit churns out 161 bhp / 230 Nm. Both engines are expected to get transmission options of 6-speed manual and CVT automatic gearbox. MG Astor will be manufactured at the company’s facility in Halol, Gujarat. It is expected to be priced in the range of Rs 9-15 lakh. Once launched, it will be the most feature-rich car in the segment or even the segment above.