MG is quite successful in the Indian market for a new automobile manufacturer. The Hector Twins and ZS EV are doing fairly well in the market. Now, MG is gearing up for the launch of a new SUV. It will be called the Astor and it was revealed last month. The Astor is basically a facelift of the ZS EV SUV but it is being launched with an internal combustion engine instead of an electric powertrain. According to the reports, the Astor will be launched on 15th September.
The Astor will be a mid-size SUV and will be the most affordable SUV from MG. It will be competing against Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Renault Kicks, Nissan Duster, Skoda Kushaq and the upcoming Volkswagen Taigun. However, because of its pricing, it will also go against Mahindra XUV700 and Tata Harrier.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard
Just like other MG vehicles, the highlight of Astor will be the feature list. MG will be offering Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard across all the variants. It is not yet known if MG will offer the 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard or they will be using a smaller infotainment unit for the lower variants. Unlike the Hector and Hector Plus, the ZS will have a horizontally mounted infotainment system that is more practical and goes in line with the design of the interior.
It will also come with a personal AI assistant which we will see for the first time in any vehicle. The AI assistant has been designed by Star Design which is an American company. The assistant would be able to engage with the occupants, give warnings, read news, change vehicle settings, give navigation commands, change music and follow other commands that the occupants give.
It will be powered by i-Smart Hub. Through this hub, you can save your passport or documents digitally, navigation would be provided by MapMyIndia, Parking+ would also be there and MG is expected to add more applications to the system. Because all of this is works through internet, it needs SIM connectivity which is being provided by Jio.
Astor would also come with ADAS or Advanced Driver Aids System, making Astor unique in its segment. The SUV would come with Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Speed Assist System, Rear Drive Assist and Intelligent Headlamp Control. All of these features are enabled by radars and a set of cameras that monitor the surroundings. As of now, no other mid-size SUV comes with ADAS features. The ADAS features are expected to be offered only with the top-end variant.
MG is expected to offer Astor with two petrol engine options. There would be a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine and a 1.3-litre turbocharged engine. Both the engines are expected to be offered with a manual gearbox or an automatic gearbox.