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MG ZS to get a new name in petrol avatar; launch by Q3 2021

The MG SUV range for our market currently consists of the Hector (including the three-row Hector Plus), the Gloster and the ZS EV, and in the coming months, the company will further expand its portfolio. “By the third quarter of this year, we will launch another SUV,” said Rajeev Chaba, president and managing director, MG Motor India, in an interaction with Autocar India. He also confirmed that the upcoming product will be positioned “below the Hector.” As such, expect the next launch from MG to be the petrol-powered version of the ZS SUV (codename: Model K).

  • Upcoming MG SUV to get an updated design compared to the ZS EV
  • 1.5-litre petrol and 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engines to power midsize SUV
  • MG to improve localisation levels for competitive positioning

“By the end of this year, it (our portfolio) should be good for SUVs, including one EV and three other SUVs. So that’s what we intend to do,” said Chaba, outlining the carmaker’s plans for 2021.

Production-ready MG Model K to get a unique nameplate

MG already retails the all-electric version of the ZS in our market. However, it is now gearing up to introduce the petrol iteration of the midsize SUV, and in order to give it a distinct identity, the company is expected to ditch the ‘ZS’ nomenclature and launch the product with an all-new moniker.

The SUV will pack in a more compact, 4.3m-long footprint, compared to the Hector, which measures in at 4.6m. Positioned in the heart of the midsize SUV segment then, the incoming MG will directly take on the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Nissan Kicks and the Renault Duster.

MG Model K: design and features

Spy shots of the Model K being tested in India also reveal that it will indeed be based on the facelifted version, compared to the pure-electric ZS that is available in a pre-facelift form.

To that end, the Model K will feature a reworked front fascia, with sharper headlamps and a new front grille and bumper. Around the back, a set of revised LED tail-lamps will mark out the new model. On the inside, the cabin can be expected to sport a few tweaks to the dashboard, including a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system (compared to the 8.0-inch unit of the ZS EV). In international markets, moreover, the SUV also gets a digital instrument cluster.

MG Model K: engine and gearbox

In terms of powertrains, the Model K range will begin with a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol mill that’s good for 120hp and 150Nm of torque. MG will also have its 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine on offer in the 163hp/230Nm state of tune. This will, effectively, make the ZS the most powerful SUV in its class. For reference, the Creta and Seltos get a 140hp, 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine, while the Kicks and Duster are offered with a 156hp, 1.3-litre turbo-petrol mill.

The upcoming MG will also get manual as well as automatic gearbox options.

MG Model K: price estimate

MG is said to be working on increasing the localised content in the Model K, which should allow the company to position it competitively, especially in view of the ZS EV, which has been brought in via the CKD (completely knocked down) route. Expect a pricing of Rs 10-16 lakh for the upcoming combustion-engined SUV.

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