MG ZS Petrol could launch on the back of the EV variant’s success

The MG ZS EV has received a fantastic response in India garnering over 2,400 bookings in the 28 days order books were open, and it is speculated widely that MG Motor India could launch the petrol version in 2021 riding on the popularity of the ZS brand. MG Motor is already selling the ZS Petrol in several global markets and showcased the car without saying much at the Auto Expo 2020.

The MG Motor ZS Petrol is available in two engine options – 1.5-litre naturally aspirated and 1.0-litre turbocharged with 106 PS/141 Nm and 111 PS/160 Nm power/torque outputs respectively. With the 1.5-litre version, the ZS can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.9 seconds and the 1.0-litre version takes 12.4 seconds, while the top speed is 175 km/h and 180 km/h.

When it is launched, we expect the MG Motor to equip the ZS with class-leading features as the vehicle would be playing the support role to the Hector. MG ZS offers three steering modes – Urban, Normal and Dynamic. The Urban mode is tuned for journeys in the city streets, parking and low-speed driving; the Dynamic mode maximises vehicle performance with increased steering effort and higher damping while the Normal mode works in tune with suspension set-up. Inside, the ZS gets an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that comes with Apple CarPlay support. Just like the electric version, the ZS is available in two variants – Excite and Exclusive.

MG ZS EV side view - Auto Expo 2020
Even with intensive localization, we don’t expect the ZS Petrol to be considerably cheaper to the Hector. Pictured is the MG ZS EV.

The company will also be looking to maximise the localisation to price the SUV competitively to offer yet another alternative to the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta. In the UK, the price of the ZS starts from Rs 11 lakh ex-showroom and comes with a 7 year/128,000 km warranty. Even if localized, we don’t see the ZS’s price undercutting the Hector by a considerable margin.

Meanwhile, MG Motor India is busy in expanding its footprint in India and has opened its 206th dealership in the country in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. This is the eighth MG showroom in Tamil Nadu and plans are on to open 15 more in the state. MG Motor is also planning to take the total dealership number to 250 by June 2020. In a recent media interview, the company’s top boss has said that the ZS EV will have more localization next year. The company is also setting up a battery assembly plant to bring down the price of its electric vehicles and plans to launch an affordable electric car around 2023.