MG Motors has got three solid products – Hector, ZS EV and the Gloster. The Hector and the Gloster have established themselves in their respective segments very well. The ZS EV, an electric vehicle still appeals to a niche audience in our country with infrastructure still catching up to support these cars in our market. But that does not mean the ZS cannot sell in higher numbers and attract more traditional buyers. So in this story we will discuss if we can see the ZS’s upcoming internal combustion powered version as the MG Astor diesel ever.
Also Read: MG Astor spotted
MG Astor diesel – Is there a need?
Currently MG has the 1.5-litre petrol engine in the Hector that is compatible with a manual, DCT and CVT gearbox. We drove the Hector exclusively with the petrol CVT combination and were impressed by how smooth and responsive is it. The Hector also comes with a 2.0-litre diesel engine sourced from Fiat that makes 170bhp and is mated to a siz-speed manual gearbox. This engine is also found in cars like the Jeep Compass and the Tata Harrier. Does it make sense for the Astor? Probably not, you see these cars are bigger than it or the segment which comprises of the Creta, Seltos, Kicks and the upcoming Kushaq. The Creta and the Seltos have diesel engines available here and they are 1.5-litre units that churn out 115bhp and come with six-speed manuals and automatic gearbox options.
So what do we think MG will do? Detuning such 2.0-litre turbo-diesel does not make the best idea for a MG Astor diesel. So we have to look in an other direction. Like Skoda with the Kushaq has a different plan. Use petrol mills only and have two possible options: 1.0-litre TSI (115PS/200Nm) and 1.5-litre TSI (150PS/250Nm ). And give options of manual, automatic and DSG units with different variants. In foreign markets, the ZS a.k.a Astor gets two petrol options with a 1.5-litre engine and the 1.3 T-GDi turbocharged engine. These engines come with six-speed manual and six-speed automatic gearbox options. And we think these two options will come for the Astor as well.
Also Read: Skoda Kushaq
Launch, Competition and Price
Now the Creta petrol starts at Rs 9.9 lakhs (ex-showroom) with the 1.5-litre petrol engine and prices go all the way to 17.5 lakhs (ex-showroom) with the 1.4-litre petrol engine and a 7 speed DCT gearbox. We expect the MG Astor to be priced around the same range and also try and undercut the Creta with the top variants. And if the MG Astor diesel does not happen, it goes rich on features and comfort with two petrol engines in tow, the car will head on compete with the Skoda Kushaq.
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