The compact SUV segment is about to witness a new competitor in the form of the MG Astor, which is essentially a petrol-powered version of the ZS electric SUV. Recently, it has been caught during testing the emergency braking system, suggesting that it could get an active driver assistance feature like an Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) System.
For the people not in know, the AEB is a radar-based technology that monitors the road ahead and measures the distance to any vehicle in front of you, and in case of collision threat, it automatically applies the brake if the driver fails to react quickly. Some brands also use cameras to form three-dimensional pictures of the world around your vehicle.
Besides the Autonomous Emergency Braking, the Astor could also get several other semi-autonomous techs like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, and front collision warning etc. Other expected features of the MG Astor includes an LED lighting system, panoramic sunroof, a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system (compared to the 8.0-inch unit of the ZS EV) with connected car technology, Hinglish voice command compatibility, a digital instrument cluster, air purifier, six airbags, etc.
The MG Astor is likely to be based on the global-spec facelifted ZS. Compared to its electric version (which is based on the pre-facelift model), it will get a redesigned front fascia with a honeycomb pattern grille, sleeker headlamps with integrated LED DRLs and refreshed bumpers. It will also get new alloy wheels, reworked LED tail-lamps, and some minor aesthetical changes inside the cabin.
The MG Astor is expected to be offered with a choice of 1.3-litre turbocharged and 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engines, which can produce 163PS/230Nm and 120PS/150Nm, respectively. It will get both manual and automatic transmission options. While the launch timeline is not confirmed yet, it is expected to hit the dealerships by mid-2021. In the Indian market, the Astor will take on the likes of the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Nissan Kicks, Maruti S-Cross, Renault Duster and the upcoming Skoda Kushaq and Volkswagen Taigun.