MG Astor ICE Version Spotted During Testing In India – Diesel Or Hybrid?

MG Astor Spied diesel or hybrid img1

MG Motor has been road testing the Astor in India, which leads us to speculate that a new powertrain option could be added to the SUV

MG Motor India launched the Astor in India back in October last year. It is the most technologically-advanced midsize SUV in our market, offering connected car tech as well as an AI personal assistant. Although the SUV was launched just a few months ago, a test mule of it was spotted undergoing road tests, which raises some interesting questions.

This doesn’t seem to be the upcoming ZS EV facelift, which will have a similar design to Astor. The front grille isn’t closed off and an exhaust is visible here, both of which confirm that this is not an electric car but an IC engine car. One possibility could be that a diesel or a hybrid powertrain option could be added to the SUV very soon.

Currently, there are two engine options on offer on MG Astor – a 1.5L NA petrol unit (110 PS/144 Nm) and a 1.3L turbo-petrol unit (140 PS/220 Nm). The former can be had with a 6-speed manual transmission or a CVT, while the latter is available with a 6-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox.

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The demand for diesel-powered SUVs still exists in the Indian market, and Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos are the only ones in this segment to offer an oil-burner. If MG were to add it to Astor, this would give diesel-heads another choice in this segment, one that is heavily loaded with features.

A hybrid powertrain option is much more plausible, especially considering the push for electrification in the automobile industry. We’re not sure if this could be a standard hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, or a mild-hybrid powertrain, as no details about the battery specs are available yet. It is worth noting that MG Hector and Hector Plus get a 48V mild-hybrid option on select 1.5L petrol variants.

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MG Astor is currently priced from Rs. 9.98 lakh to Rs. 17.72 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi), and its rivals include Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Renault Duster, Maruti S-Cross, Skoda Kushaq, etc. The upcoming version, whether diesel or hybrid, would have a slightly higher price range than the existing variants of Astor.