Its been about a year since MG Motors launched the ZS EV in India and the company has more plans with the ZS nameplate for India. MG showcased the ICE-powered ZS SUV at the 2020 Auto Expo earlier this year and it has been spotted testing on our roads a couple of times since then. One of the biggest launches coming from MG Motors in 2021 will thus be the ICE-powered ZS SUV. It has now been spotted testing on our roads once again. This time it was seen with a new set of dual-tone petal-shaped 5-spoke alloy wheels, the same that's offered on the UK-spec MG ZS facelift that was launched earlier this year.
It is thus safe to assume that it will be the facelifted model of the ZS SUV that MG will bring to India. In fact, the model showcased at the Auto Expo was the facelifted model itself. On the other hand, the MG ZS EV that's sold in India is based on the pre-facelift version. The ZS facelift looks a little more sportier than the ZS EV with some design revisions here and there. The MG ZS facelift gets a new grille, revised projector headlamps with LED DRLs, a sporty bumper with a wide air dam and stylish foglamps with black accents. It also gets new LED tail lights at the rear with a sportier looking bumper, and of course, the new design for the alloy wheels.
We however do not expect many changes on the inside as compared to the ZS EV. The MG ZS SUV that was showcased at the Auto Expo had blacked-out windows and we didn't really get a look of the interiors. However, the UK-spec ZS SUV gets a larger 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system along with a re-designed center console and a few additional features like a 360-degree camera and a panoramic sunroof. We expect these updates to make it to the India-spec model as well. We saw pretty good fit and finish levels with the ZS EV and we expect the same for its ICE-powered sibling as well.
Under the hood, the MG ZS will be a petrol-only SUV, at least initially. MG Motors offers a wide range of engine options with the ZS SUV overseas. There's a 111hp/160Nm 1.0-litre turbo-petrol unit along with 120hp/150Nm 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine. The third engine option is a 1.3-litre turbo-petrol unit and that's the one we will be getting here in India. This engine produces 160hp and 230Nm and comes mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox as standard. We expect MG to offer a manual gearbox for India as well.
Conversely, MG Motors could even continue with the 141hp, 1.5-litre petrol engine that currently does duty on the Hector and Hector Plus SUVs. There are even rumors of a petrol-hybrid powertrain to be in the pipeline, which could be introduced at a later stage. MG Motors is expected to debut the ICE-powered ZS SUV in India sometime in early 2021, possibly before March. When launched, it will sit in the mid-size SUV segment where it will take on the likes of the Hyundai Creta and the Kia Seltos. We expect prices to start from around INR 12 lakh, ex-showroom.
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[Image Source - Rushlane]