NEW DELHI: Hector hit the market 15 months ago, with MG Motor India aiming to cash on the SUV rush. On the back of connected features, spacious interiors and smart looks, the SAIC-backed company could garner a healthy average of 2,000-3,500 units a month. Subsequently, the electric ZS EV and the 6-seater Hector Plus was introduced.
The first three products were in sync with market demand. SAIC, China’s largest carmaker that is present in India through its wholly-owned British subsidiary MG Motors, now is preparing to foray into a premium SUV with the Gloster. With the launch due this Diwali, MG Gloster aims to take a potshot at the premium off-road zone, left void by the discontinuation of Toyota Land Cruiser brand.
At the outset, that’s not a bad thing. On paper, Gloster has the element to go the distance. Under the hood, MG Gloster will be powered by a 2.0-litre twin-turbo Diesel engine, while mated to an advanced 8-speed automatic transmission. Land Cruiser Prado, on the other hand, was discontinued ahead of the BS6 emission. In its last update, showcased at the Auto Expo 2018, Land Cruiser Prado sported a 3.0-litre, D-4D Diesel with Intercooler Turbocharger.
MG Motor India inarguably is wary of the towering challenge – the legacy of Land Cruiser. Land Cruiser, a globally-acclaimed off-roader from Toyota, put out 173PS and 410 Nm. On paper, MG Gloster’s twin-turbo is good enough for 218PS and 480 Nm with a 4WD (terrain selection). Reportedly, Toyota Kirloskar Motor is likely to revive Land Cruiser brand.
With the bulk under the hood, Gloster has a lot going its way in terms of design as well. Standing just shy of 5 metres in length, Gloster will get a hexagonal grille with three slabs of chrome, sleek projector headlamps and fog lamps. The flared wheel arches run down the sides as the Gloster sits on 19-inch, machine-cut wheels. The rear of the 6-seater SUV is the most dramatic, thanks to ‘GLOSTER’ badge in block and the dual twin-tip exhausts laden with chrome.
In terms of dimension (4,985 mm X 1,926 mm X 1,872 mm), the Gloster would appear bigger than Toyota Fortuner and as humongous as BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE. With price expected to be around Rs 40 lakh – 50 lakh (ex-showroom), MG Motor India would leave no stones unturned to put up a fight against the German rivals.
01:33Auto Expo 2020: MG Motors unveils Gloster SUV, aims to sell 5,000-6,000 units annually
Along with auto park assist feature, Gloster, touted to be India’s first autonomous (Level 1) premium SUV, will offer adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, front collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot detection and fatigue reminder system. The safety features, again on paper, raise the bar of the Gloster to the top-of-the-line SUVs for German carmakers.
For the convenience of the occupants, Gloster will be equipped with 64-color ambient lighting, 12.3-inch HD touchscreen, 12-speaker system and 8-inch driver’s display. Gloster will come in 6-seat configuration with middle row captain seats, which will feature diamond-style-stitching. A panoramic sunroof, three-zone climate control and front ventilated seats (heated only) will also up the comfort inside the cabin.
Just like Hector, the Gloster will also supply MG’s iSMART tech, which will ensure OTA updates. While Hector sported an M2M-embedded SIM which is Internet Protocol version 6 (IPV6 ready) for 5G, the Gloster may just showcase a 5G-ready SIM.
MG Gloster was showcased at the Auto Expo 2020 and according to Rajeev Chaba, head of MG Motor India, the SUV will be a low volume game (4,000-5,000 units/annually), however, it will help strengthen the brand’s position overall.