MG Motor India has partnered with Reliance Jio to provide internet connectivity in its upcoming SUV.
MG Motor, which is currently offering the Hector, Hector Plus, Gloster and ZS EV in India, will soon enter the mid-size SUV segment. This new upcoming SUV from MG will also be their most affordable model for India. It will compete with Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos.
Considering the huge demand in the Creta/Seltos segment, once this new SUV can be expected to increase the sales of the company by a good margin. Or even double the sales of MG in India. As of now, the SUV is known as the ZS Petrol or the Astor. The ZS as it is based on the ZS EV but gets a petrol engine. And later because of a leaked trademark filing document, which confirmed that MG has trademarked the name Astor in India.
MG Astor and Reliance Jio
Today, MG Motor India announced that they have partnered with Jio to provide digital services in their upcoming SUV. Though MG hasn’t revealed the name of the SUV, we are willing to bet that it is the new Astor.
Rajeev Chaba, President and Managing Director, MG Motor India said, “Technology and innovation are at the forefront of the connected car space in the automobile industry. The current trend is increasingly focused on software-driven devices and our current partnership with tech-innovators like Jio in the IoT space is a step towards establishing MG Motor as a technology leader in the automobile industry. This partnership will ensure that our next mid-sized connected SUV will further simplify the driving experience and ensure safety backed by technology.”
Kiran Thomas, Director and President, Jio said, “Jio is creating an ecosystem of cutting edge technology products and solutions for Indian users. Our partnership with MG Motor India is yet another important step in that journey. Jio’s eSIM, IoT and streaming solutions will enable MG users to access real-time connectivity, infotainment and telematics. It is a commitment to technological development in the automobile industry with innovation as its key pillar.”
Features of MG Astor
The MG Astor is expected to launch in India later this year, just ahead of the festive season. It is essentially a petrol-powered version of the MG ZS EV in its facelifted format. It was initially slated to launch earlier this year, but the ongoing pandemic that has led to a severe shortage in the supply of the semiconductor chip has now pushed the launch date to the last quarter of this calendar year.
A test model of the Astor was spotted in a parking lot drawing our attention to some of its exterior and interior features. Based on the updated ZS, the Astor gets a new front grille, reprofiled headlamps and new alloy wheel design. Compared to the exterior designs seen on the MG ZS EV, the new Astor also gets a revised front end with a new hexagonal grille, full LED headlamps and a new bumper.
External dimensions are 4,314 mm long, 1,809 mm wide and 1,644 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,585 mm and ground clearance of 205 mm. Rear design elements include a sloping roof, sharp LED tail lamps and new bumpers with a fake skid plate. The Astor rides on 17-inch dual tone diamond cut alloy wheels and gets red colored brake calipers.
The MG Astor will get clean and clutter free interiors in an all-black interior with silver accents. It will come equipped with a fully digital instrument cluster and a 10.1-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which will be on the driver’s side. It will also get MG iSmart connectivity technology and a panoramic sunroof.
The upcoming model also gets an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), as seen on the MG Gloster. This would mean that it is likely to get features like autonomous emergency braking system, blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, front collision warning and hands-free auto parking.
Engine and transmission options
Where its engine and transmission options are concerned, the MG Astor can get its power through a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder, naturally-aspirated petrol engine making 118 hp power and 150 Nm of torque. It can be mated to a 6-speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox. Once launched, the MG Astor will take on the Hyundai Creta (which currently rules the segment), Kia Seltos, Skoda Kushaq and the soon-to-be-launched Volkswagen Taigun.
Price will play a major role in the success of the new MG Astor and will be expected to be priced in the Rs 9-15 lakh segment. The new MG Astor will be manufactured at the company’s Halol manufacturing plant in Gujarat, which has an annual capacity of 1 lakh units.