MG Motor India has launched the new MG ZS EV SUV with prices starting at Rs. 21,99 lakh for the entry-level Excite variant, and going up to Rs. 25.88 lakh (ex-showroom, India) for the top-spec MG ZS Exclusive. Do note that prices for the outgoing ZS EV were hiked very recently by Rs 50,000 when MG revised the prices of its vehicles at the beginning of the year.
The new ZS EV gets cosmetic and feature updates that take it closer to its petrol-powered sibling, the MG Astor SUV. New equipment aside, the 2022 MG ZS EV gets a larger battery with an increased claimed range of 461 km.
MG India, for now, has only opened bookings for the Exclusive variant, while the Excite variant will be available for booking from July this year.
The biggest update on the ZS EV facelift is under its skin. The previous 44.5kWh battery pack has been swapped with a larger 50.3kWh battery back. MG claims a range of 461km (as per ICAT) with the larger battery, which is 42km more than the 419km claimed range of previous battery pack. And while the real-world range with the larger battery pack is yet to be tested, for reference, Autocar India range test, the previous 44.5kWh battery managed 317km in real-world usage.
The ZS EV continues to be powered by a front-axle mounted electric motor that now produces 176hp and 353Nm, which means power has gone up 33hp over the previous model’s 143hp power output. MG claims the new ZS EV sprint from 0-100kph in 8.5 seconds.
The facelifted ZS EV was globally revealed in October last year, and the new India-spec model looks identical to the international version. It also looks more in line with its petrol-powered sibling, the Astor. The slimmer headlamps with new LED daytime running lamp signatures and LED tail-lamps, for instance, are identical to that of the Astor.
Rajeev Chaba, president and MD, MG Motor India said, “The demand for ZS EV has been encouraging since its launch, and the all-new ZS EV will further strengthen the brand connect with our EV customers. ZS EV has been a global success in key markets, including the UK, Europe and Australia. Committed to the future of electric mobility in India, we ensure a superior ownership experience by building a robust and sustainable EV ecosystem. With the all-new ZS EV, we are confident to change the mindset and accelerate EV adoption in India.”
However, that’s where the similarities end, as the ZS EV gets several EV-specific touches. The most distinct of these is a new body-coloured, blanked-off frontal section that replaces the traditional grille. While the charging port is still housed in this grille area, it's not behind the MG logo but neatly hidden on the side. The front and rear bumpers are new for the EV as well and get sporty detailing. It also gets a unique design for the 17-inch alloy wheels.
The new ZS EV is available in four exterior colour options: Ferris White, Currant Red, Ashen Silver and Sable Black.
There aren’t as many cosmetic updates on the inside of the new ZS EV, although it gets a new faux carbon-fibre trim around the dashboard. The climate control buttons have also been revised and are now similar to those in the Astor.
The bigger talking point is, of course, the additions to the equipment list, most of which have been borrowed from the Astor. The ZS EV gets a new 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system, in place of the older 8.0-inch unit, and a new 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster replacing the analogue dials.
Additionally, it also gets a 360-degree camera and rear-drive assist feature that includes blind-spot detection, lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert. Interestingly though, MG has skipped on the Astor’s dashboard-mounted robot assistant here on the ZS EV. Other standout features include a panoramic sunroof, updated i-Smart connected car tech, wireless charging, digital Bluetooth key, 6 airbags, hill descent control, TPMS, ESC among other features.
In the mass-market EV space in India, the new ZS EV is considerably more premium than the Tata Nexon EV, although the latter will also be updated with a larger battery soon, thus being able to close the gap in terms of range and performance. For reference, the Nexon EV currently has a claimed range of 312km. The new MG ZS EV will also see competition from the upcoming Hyundai Kona Electric facelift that’s slated to launch in India in the coming months.
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