MG Motor India has unveiled the Astor midsize SUV, which is based on its all-electric ZS EV crossover, but is a petrol-only offering from the company, targeting competition in the midsize SUV segment.
The segment which is home to the likes of the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos, is growing at a robust rate, prompting MG to further tap the potential in the Indian market when it’s averaging sales of over 4,000 units every month (July 2021: 4,225; August 2021: 4,315) in the ongoing fiscal.
The Astor is 4.3 metres long and gets distinguishing styling elements such as the celestial front grille, all-LED lamps and a set of 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels that set it apart from the ZS EV.
On the inside, the Astor gets a unique AI assistant mounted at the centre of the dashboard, along with a 10.1-inch HD infotainment system and a 7-inch full-digital instrument cluster. It also gets an electronic parking brake, heated ORVMs and a PM2.5 filter.
While the AI assistant can respond to voice emotions and fetch answers to queries from Wikipedia, the panoramic sunroof is claimed to cover almost 90 percent of the roof area on this midsized crossover. There are a host of apps bundled into the infotainment system that are being offered under the Car-as-a-Platform suite on the Astor, which also gets in-car connectivity from Relaince’s Jio.
The MG Astor also comes equipped with a Bluetooth-enabled digital key which allows the owner to not only lock or unlock the car from their smartphone but also drive without the actual key being in their pocket.
Petrol powertrains and ADAS
The MG Astor comes powered by two petrol engine options – a 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine that produces 140hp and 220Nm of peak torque, and comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The second option is a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated motor that delivers 110hp and 144Nm of peak torque. This VTi-tech engine comes with options of a manual transmission or an 8-step CVT.
In terms of safety, the Astor gets 27 standard safety features such as ESP, TCS and hill-descent control. There are six airbags, a 360-degree camera and 14 Autonomous Level – 2 functionalities as well. The company says it has partnered Bosch to offer active safety features such as lane-keep assist, blind-spot detection and autonomous emergency braking among others as part of this ADAS suite.
The MG Astor will be showcased at MG Motor India’s showrooms across the country starting this weekend, when it will also commence bookings for this fourth product in its portfolio.
According to Rajeev Chaba, president and MD, MG Motor India, “We have introduced several industry-first features with our SUVs to the Indian market. This time we have Autonomous (Level 2), MG Astor, with a personal AI assistant. With its elegant exteriors, luxurious interiors, and futuristic technology, we believe that Astor is a desirable package that will strike a chord with the customers.”