Morris Garages is working on a new mid-size SUV which will be called Astor. It is basically a facelifted version of the ZS’s petrol counterpart. Astor is expected to launch sometime this year. It will be the most affordable vehicle in MG’s portfolio. It will sit below the Hector and will go against the Hyundai Creta, Skoda Kushaq, Kia Seltos and the upcoming Volkswagen Taigun.
Here, is a video of the Astor being tested on Indian roads. The video is uploaded on YouTube by The Fat Biker. The SUV is wearing heavy camouflage but we can still make out some design elements. It immediately looks more aggressive than the ZS EV.
Up-front we get a big grille and sharp headlights that use LEDs. The tail lamps too use LEDs and have segmented portions. The new grille is expected to be inspired by the MG One Concept which was recently revealed. The SUV is expected to measure around 4.3 metres in length.
MG Astor is expected to be offered in two engine options. Both will be petrol engines and there will be no diesel engine on offer. There would be a base 1.5-litre naturally aspirated engine that produces 120 PS of max power and 150 Nm of peak torque. Then there will be the 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 163 PS of max power and 230 Nm.
This will make the Astor the most powerful mid-size SUV in the segment. For reference, the Hyundai Creta and Seltos’s 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine puts out 140 PS and 242 Nm whereas the Skoda Kushaq and Volkswagen Taigun use 1.5-litre turbo petrol that produces 150 PS and 250 Nm. There is also Nissan Kicks and Renault Duster Turbo which were the most powerful SUVs till now. They used 1.3-litre turbo petrol that produces 156 PS and 254 Nm.
One of the biggest selling points of the Hector was its features. So, Astor would also come with a lot of equipment. We have already seen from the spy shots that the Astor would come with a horizontally mounted touchscreen infotainment system. It is likely to measure 10.1-inches. It will also support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It would also get iSmart connected car technology like we first saw on the Hector. The Astor would also come with a digital instrument cluster on the higher variants whereas the lower variants would get an analogue instrument cluster with a multi-information display.
Other features on offer will be a push button to start/stop the engine, keyless entry, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlamps, automatic climate control, wireless charger, multi-function steering wheel, cruise control, electrical adjustment for driver seat, air purifier and much more. MG might also offer ventilated front seats.
However, the highlight of the Astor will be its Advanced Driver Assistance Systems like we have seen on the MG Gloster which is the current flagship of Morris Garages. The ADAS features will include lane-keep assist, blindspot warning and automated braking. It might also come with an adaptive cruise control system.