MG Motor India showcased the Hector SUV in India and it's the first time we get to see the car in the flesh. Of course, there are a lot of details that have been revealed about the car and we have them all. The Hector looks big and it is even in the flesh. It's 4655mm long, 1835 mm wide and 1760 mm tall. The MG Hector SUV gets a butch looking front which is dominated by a massive black mesh grille with sleek chrome surroundings. MG Motor has also adopted a new design for the face where the headlamp assembly is mounted in the bumper and the daytime running lights (DRLs) sit right on top, close to the hood.
The new design is gaining prominence globally. The side of the Hector looks bulky and shoulder line doesn't remain pronounced at the rear. The overhangs also aren't tight and that would make cutting through the city traffic a bit difficult. The rear of the Hector, however, looks more curvaceous and the tapering rear windscreen adds to the appeal. The gloss black plastic element falling right under the spoiler's edge loo good as well.
The use of chrome overall is subtle and the colour of plastic claddings blends with the paint shade rather than contrasting too much. Up front, it also gets projector headlamps and the fog lamps are underneath. Both the units come into a frame surrounded by the tall c-shaped chrome integrand. Both headlamps are also conjoined by a two-slat plastic bar below which is the wide faux-silver skid plate housing a relatively large centre air-dam.
Going with the simple side profile, there aren't too much elements either. There is a fine chrome line right above the break over angle and it gets dual-tone alloy wheels which look modern. Moreover, there are silver roof rails and a first-in-segment panoramic sunroof. At the rear, there is a massive plastic cladding which adds to the proportions without looking odd. It also integrates the silver skid plate the colour of which is a bit too contrasting. There's also a sleek chrome bar above the license plate area.
While this information was already known to you, the engines is what we were looking forward to. MG Motor India has now revealed that the Hector SUV will come with both the petrol and the diesel engines and there'll also be a petrol hybrid offering up for grabs. The petrol is a 1.5-litre turbocharged unit which is good enough for 141 bhp and 250 Nm of torque. This engine is mated to a dual clutch transmission which has been tested extensively under extreme climatic conditions globally for more than 2.6 million kilometres.
The petrol hybrid gets the same engine making the same power but it gets a 48-volt mild-hybrid architecture which is a first-in-segment. MG Motor becomes the first mainstream carmaker in India to bring 48V technology to the mass market segment. The 48V mild hybrid technology is the latest global environmentally friendly engine technology that enables reduction in petrol engine emissions. A 48-volt lithium-ion battery helps store energy and provide extra torque assistance of up to 20 Nm when required, resulting in a smoother drive. With three key functions - Engine Auto Start-Stop, Regenerative Braking and E-Boost - the combination provides a great driving experience while reducing emissions by up to 12 per cent
The diesel is a 2-litre turbocharged unit which makes 168 bhp and there's 350 Nm of torque on offer from as low as 1750 rpm. So expect good fuel economy too. The petrol hybrid and the diesel will be available with a 6 speed manual transmission. But the biggest USP is of course the long feature list. Touted as the company's first internet car, the upcoming MG Hector will come with a new advanced connectivity system called i-Smart next-generation system, a complete integrated solution that combines software, hardware, connectivity, services and application.
The system has been developed in collaboration with several technological partners like Cisco, Unlimit, and Microsoft among others. The iSmart connectivity system comes with advanced technology, smart application, built-in Apps, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Smart Features, Voice Assist, and Infotainment.
The command centre of the system is a vertically-mounted 10.4-inch ultra large Full-HD infotainment display that comes with pre-loaded entertainment content and allows you to manage complete vehicle settings. MG says that the display screen can withstand the high temperatures of Indian weather conditions. For full-time connectivity, the system also comes with a first machine to machine embedded sim, along with the SUV Internet Protocol version 6 makes it 5G-ready, making it future-proof. The system offers features like - Real-Time Navigation, Remote Location, Geo-Fencing, Emergency Response and much more.
Furthermore, with smart connectivity, the MG Hector will also be getting software updates via over-the-air (OTA) downloads, like firmware and features updates much like any smartphone. Also, as mentioned earlier, the car will come with pre-loaded apps like - TomTom IQ Maps, Gaana Premium, and AccuWeather app among others. In fact, MG Motor India will be offering its customer free data too for the first few years. The system itself is well-secured by Microsoft, which will be the Cloud provider for MG Motor.
The fit and finish in the cabin is top notch and there's good enough lumbar and under-thigh support for the occupants up front and the rear. There's an AC vent at the rear for the passengers but it lacks headroom. Designed and developed for Indian customers, the Hector has been built to withstand extreme road conditions and has been tested for over one million kilometers in India before entering production at the company's plant in Halol, Gujarat, earlier this month.
MG Motor India will begin shipments of the Hector SUV within the next few weeks to its network of 120 outlets across 50 cities. The carmaker aims to expand its network to 250 outlets by the end of September this year. Pre-orders of Hector will begin next month; the dates will be announced within the next couple of weeks.