In March 2018, MG Motor has announced its plan for the Indian market. The company confirmed that it will commence its Indian operations with an SUV in the second quarter of 2019. For people not in the know, MG Motor is a subsidiary of the Chinese auto giant – SAIC – which now aims to enter India through this British car marque. MG Motor India acquired General Motors’ Halol plant in Gujarat and has already started refurbishing the facility. Initially, the company will make an investment of Rs 2,000 crore that will be further increased to Rs 5,000 crore over the next six years. In the first phase (initial 4-5 years), the annual production capacity of the plant will be around 80,000 to 85,000 units. If required, it will be ramped-up by another 80,000 to 85,000 units, confirmed the company. The carmaker also aims to achieve about 80 percent localization level of its products from the first day of operations. While SAIC is yet to chalk out a plan for its entry in India, we are more interested in the products it could introduce here.
Upcoming MG Cars in India
1. MG ZS SUV
The MG ZS compact SUV will be the first car from the British carmaker in India. This five-seater MG SUV will take head-to-head against the Hyundai Creta and Renault Duster. Visually, the ZS looks more like a crossover and features rugged and sporty design language. Some of its design highlights include projector headlamps with LED DRLs, LED taillights, diamond cut alloys, sporty black cladding and skid plate, LED taillamps, roof spoiler and rear bumper with black plastic cladding. MG’s first car in India will come with a pack of advanced comfort and safety features.
Inside, the SUV gets a flat bottom multifunction steering wheel, touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity, automatic AC unit, 4/6-way adjustable driver and passenger seats, leather upholstery for gearshift and steering wheel. For safety purpose, the SUV offers dual airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist. It also gets EBA, hill launch assist, TPMS, ARP, ESP, ISOFIX, etc.
Engine details of the India-spec model will be revealed in near future, though it is reported to source its 2.0-litre engine from the Jeep Compass. In UK, the SUV comes with two petrol powertrains – a 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder turbocharged and a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder. While the smaller capacity unit makes a top power of 109bhp with 160Nm, the larger one returns 105bhp with 141Nm. Transmission on offer might include a 5-speed manual and a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic units.
Expected Launch: H2, 2019
Expected Price: Rs 11 lakh – Rs 15 lakh
2. MG GS SUV
Next in the list of upcoming MG cars in India could be the GS SUV. In the premium SUV space, the MG GS will be stacked up against the Hyundai Tucson and the Jeep Compass. Primarily a soft-roader, the SUV is based on a modular SUV platform and has a good cabin space to offer. With respect to proportions, MG GS is 4,500mm long, 1,855mm wide and 1,665mm tall. This will make it slight bigger than its arch rivals – Tucson and Compass – which measure 4475mm X 1850mmX 1645/1660mm and 4395mm X 1818mmX 1640mm in length, width and height respectively.
The company might have to work on the interior styling to make it more upmarket. In the UK market, the SUV is available in three trims – 1.5T D 2WD, 1.5T X 2WD and 2.0T D 2WD. Power sources for the SUV include two petrol units – a 1.5-litre petrol and 2.0-litre. Considering that diesel engines are popular in India, MG Motors could bring both the models here. Feature-wise, it will be loaded with several goodies including an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone integration, a sunroof, rear reclining seats, leather seat upholstery, ABS with EBD, stability control system, traction control system, hill start assist system, TPMS, MSR, CBC, etc.
Expected Launch: 2020
Expected Price: Rs 15 lakh – Rs 20 lakh
3. MG XS
MG XS crossover could one among the upcoming MG cars in India. Based on the larger sibling, MG GS, the SUV carries contemporary styling and will take on the premium crossovers in India. It is to be noted that XS has been designed by SAIC design and is likely to be offered with two petrol engines including a 1.0-litre, turbocharged motor with 123PS and a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated unit based on MG 3.
In addition, it could also receive a diesel powertrain later. While the former pushes out a maximum power of 123bhp against 170Nm of torque, the latter one is good enough for 164bhp and 250Nm. On the inside, it is a far cry from the MG GS SUV with better looks and a large touchscreen infotainment system. Some of its key highlights include CX-3-inspired front grille and bumper, swept-back headlamps, alloy wheels, electric sunroof, cruise control, keyless start and a reversing camera.
Expected Launch: 2020 – 2021
Expected Price: NA
It is imperative to have a hatchback in the line-up for every carmaker in the Indian market. Carrying European traits, the MG 3 is a premium hatchback that will face challenge from cars like Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Hyundai Elite i20. Engine setup of the China-spec MG 3 hatchback includes a 1.3L petrol and a 1.5L diesel unit. The former makes 100.6bhp with 121Nm, the latter offers 115.3bhp with 150Nm. Transmission duties are carried out by a 5-speed manual and a 4-speed automatic unit. In India, the hatchback could be offered with a 1.2L petrol engine. The carmaker might also bring in diesel iteration of the vehicle with both manual and automatic gearbox options.
Packed with plethora of in-cabin tech, the hatchback has a spacious cabin. It is expected that MG Motors could also roll-out a premium executive sedan that will go up against Hyundai Elantra and the likes. Irrespective of the popularity of these models in the international markets, MG Motors will have to tweak them in line with the Indian market. Additionally, the company will also need to set up an after sales network before they start operations in India.
Expected Launch: 2020 – 2021
Expected Price: Rs 5 lakh – Rs 9.5 lakh
5. MG M5
Aiming to tap the growing mid-size sedan segment, MG Motor might bring in the M5 in the country. In the mid-size sedan space, the MG M5 will compete with the Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Toyota’s new Yaris. In Thailand, the sedan is offered with both petrol and diesel powertrains. The 1.5-litre gasoline unit pushes out a maximum power of 105bh with 135Nm, the 1.5-litre oil burner makes 127bhp and 210Nm of torque.
Similar to the other MG cars, the M5 sedan comes loaded with lots of comfort and safety features. This list of features includes multifunction steering wheel, a touchscreen infotainment system, rear seat headrest, electric sunroof and more. With respect to safety, the car gets airbags, anti-lock braking system, tyre pressure monitor, traction control and EBD, rear view camera.
Expected Launch: 2020 – 2021
Expected Price: Rs 8 lakh – Rs 12 lakh
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