MG Hector SUV: 7 seat version of the Tata Harrier rival in the works
The MG Hector was just unveiled in India yesterday, ahead of a June 2019 launch. The SUV is expected to rival the likes of the Tata Harrier and the Hyundai Creta in terms of pricing, and will be sold a five seater initially. What's unmistakable is the fact that the Hector will be the longest SUV in its class, with a length of 4,655 mm and a wheelbase of 2,750 mm. These dimensions give engineers at MG Motor plenty of flexibility in terms of packaging. So, a 7 seat version of the MG Hector, with three rows of seats, is on its way to the Indian market. The company's Managing Director for Indian operations, Rajeev Chaba, has just revealed to ACI that the 7 seat Hector would be launched in India in early 2020, just ahead of the Bharat Stage 6 deadline in April 2020.
The 7 seat version of the Hector is expected to share its engines and transmissions with the 5 seat model. The Hector's 5 seat version will be available with two engines, a mild hybrid 1.5 liter turbo petrol motor with 140 Bhp-250 Nm on tap, and a 2 liter Fiat Multijet turbocharged diesel with 170 Bhp-350 Nm. Both engines will get 6 speed manual gearboxes and the petrol mild hybrid motor will get a 7 speed, twin clutch automatic transmission option. All variants of the SUV will be front wheel driven, and MG has no plans to offer an all wheel drive layout. The same mechanical set up is likely to be carried over to the 7 seat model. Even the feature-set and infotainment module are expected to be carried over.
Later this year, Tata Motors will launch the Cassini, essentially a 7 seat version of the Harrier SUV. The 7 seat version of the MG Harrier will be a direct rival of the Cassini. While pricing details of the 7 seat MG Hector are yet to be revealed; for that matter even the 5 seater's prices are under wraps, we expect it to be well under Rs. 20 lakhs. From all indications, MG Motor is looking at a value price tag for the Hector range as the SUV is relatively unknown in the Indian market, with little or no brand recall for the MG badge. An English car brand now owned by the Chinese, cars sold with this badge are now Chinese vehicles. In fact, the MG Hector is the Baojun 530 - a Chinese SUV built and sold by the SAIC group - under the skin.
Like the 5 seat version of the MG Hector, the 7 seat model will be built at Halol, Gujarat. Notably, SAIC, which is General Motors' partner in China, took over the Halol factory from GM a few years ago. This factory will now be used to build a range of MG-badged cars for the Indian market, the first of which will be the Hector SUV. The automaker has plans to get into various other segments of the Indian car market in the coming years including electric cars.
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