The MG Astor will compete with the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Skoda Kushaq and the upcoming Volkswagen Taigun.
With the launch expected in a couple of weeks, the MG Astor has been spied several times this year for road tests. The MG Astor is essentially the petrol version of the 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 the UK, the SUV is known as the MG ZS.
MG Astor in new camo
The latest scene is a bit different, as the test mule can be seen wearing an entirely new type of camo. Instead of the usual white and gray camo design, the SUV is completely draped in black. There is a large ‘AI Inside’ sticker on the side, indicating that the SUV will pack in an AI-based Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS).
It can get features like 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 features a number of funky emoticons, which appear 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. This advanced platform named i-Smart offers more than 50 connected features.
Some of the key functions include Find My Car, Geo Fencing, Emergency Assistance, Voice Command, Vehicle Health Report, Weather and Navigation. With the i-Smart, users can also access multiple functions remotely such as engine start, climate control on/off, and open/close sunroof, tailgate and door lock.
MG has partnered with Reliance Jio for Astor’s internet platform. The Astor will use an M2M embedded SIM, Jio’s telecom network and other software/hardware that is required for the whole thing to work. The e-SIM is likely to be 5G ready, which will make it future proof. 5G is currently being extensively tested in India by telecom companies including Jio. The connected car experience is expected to be much better with 5G network.
MG Astor Engine
Official specs have not been disclosed. As per the rumours, the 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 bigger one is capable of producing 118 bhp of maximum power and 150 Nm of peak torque.
The smaller turbo unit produces 161 Bhp/230 Nm. Transmission options of both the engines are expected to be 6-speed manual and CVT automatic gearbox. MG Astor will be manufactured at the company’s plant in Halol, Gujarat. Its price is expected to be between Rs 9-15 lakh. Once launched, it will be the most feature-rich car in the segment or above.