MG Motors’ Hector SUV to offer first-in-class iSMART tech
MG Motors (Morris Garages) announced the launch of its first car in India – the Hector SUV. China-based SAIC group owns this 95-year-old British marque. The Hector will be invading the crowded mid-size SUV segment. The Hyundai Creta, Jeep Compass and recently-launched Tata Harrier currently dominate this segment. The talking point of the Hector is its new-gen iSMART connected car technology.
The MG Hector, touted as India’s first internet car, will come with a revolutionary iSMART technology. The iSMART compiles a long list of software, hardware, connectivity services and applications that have been developed in partnership with some of the biggest tech companies in the world.
So what exactly will the iSmart cover?
Here is a list of some of the biggest features of the Hector’s iSMART system:
- A segment-leading 10.4-inch full-HD vertical infotainment touchscreen will act as the main unit for all iSMART based features.
- A 5G ready Machine-to-Machine (M2M) e-Sim will help using all internet based features. Airtel will provide the service with MG Motors offing first few years of free data.
- A voice assistant will recognize multiple voices in Indian-accented English. The “Hello MG” command controls a whole bunch of features like navigation, music, headlamps, sunroof operation and others.
- Netherlands based navigation system provider TomTom will supply IQ maps for real-time traffic navigation.
- Entertainment services, AI, Analytics, Device management system, Value Added Services and other apps will be integrated through a common platform developed by Unlimit.
- The system will receive over-the-air (OTA) updates to keep firmware, infotainment and maps up to date.
- Microsoft will store the all the data on its cloud and will be secured by Microsoft Intelligent Security.
- Music streaming company Gaana.com will provide with music and entertainment service with embedded Gaana Premium Account.
- MG Motor India will have a dedicated call centre called Pulse, which will provide all feature-based support services. They will also alert emergency contact numbers and nearby medical assistance in case of accident or emergency.
Apart from the above smart features, it will also come with the ‘modest’ Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. There is also a 16GB internal memory to store data like contacts, music and other applications. Other features include mood lighting, tyre pressure monitoring system, cruise control, a Harman Infinity audio system and 360-degree camera, among others.
Also read MG Motors’ plans to bring a sub-10 lakh Electric Vehicle for India here
The Hector will enter the crowded midsize SUV space in India
In terms of looks, the pictures released by MG Motors India show the Hector almost identical to the Baojun 530 sold in China, on which it is based. This means it has the same angular design with some strong creases and lines along the side. It has an imposing front end, with a large chrome-bordered mesh grille flanked by the DRLs. The main LED headlamp is further down just above the front bumper. The rear looks wide with the rectangular LED tail-lamps connected by a light strip running across the boot. On the side, the Hector has a typical SUV stance, with a uniquely-shaped glass between the C and D-pillar. The front and rear faux skid plates enhance its SUV look, although the small wheels and the large rear overhang makes it look odd.
What drivetrains will the Hector have?
The Hector will be offered with a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol and the FCA-sourced 2.0-litre diesel. The petrol motor will make 141bhp and 250Nm, and will also be offered with a 48V mid hybrid system. The diesel that already does duty on the Jeep Compass and the Tata Harrier, in the Hector will be in the same tune as in the Jeep, with 170bhp and 350Nm of torque. MG will offer both engines with a six-speed manual, while the petrol will also have a 6-speed DCT as an option.
MG Motors has not yet revealed the pricing, although expect an aggressive price tag between Rs 15-20 lakh to take the Indian SUV market by storm.