Home / Features / MG Astor – Designed to Impress

 

The MG Astor has a lot of work to do but it looks like it has won half the battle standing still

MG Astor

Story: Joshua Varghese
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

Morris Garages have always been particular about design. Their heritage speaks volumes of how their smooth styling has left paper to be transitioned beautifully into the real world. The MGB from the previous century is a great example. That sports car drove its way into the hearts of enthusiasts globally and even found a home at the British royal family’s garage and since then it has been a timeless classic.

MG Astor

With the Astor, MG are looking to extend that design philosophy of “Emotional Dynamism”; styling that connects the human element with the car. Based on the popular ZS platform, the designers in London have made sure that the Astor has a soft and sophisticated styling that delivers elegance while highlighting the car’s sporty styling. The MG badge at the front sits proudly in the middle of the Celestial grille, a design element that mimics a galaxy filled with stars. The depth of the grille and the precision of its lines draw the viewer in to appreciate the other intricate details. When lit up, the headlamp showcases more attention to detail. It is shaped to look like the eye of a hawk and the designers have turned up the head by arranging nine crystal elements along the casing and they put on an impressive show when illuminated.

MG Astor

From there, the lines lead to form the classic shoulder-line that we have seen in MG sports cars from the past. It looks like a leopard about to spring into action and highlights the Astor’s sporty side as well. Similar attention to detail and well-placed badging is also seen at the rear of the car where the special tail-lamps amp up the visual drama.

MG Astor

Carl Gotham, the Advanced Design Director at the MG’s Global Design Centre in London, UK, said, ‘The concept of Emotional Dynamism brings a premium feel to Astor. The mid-size SUV is a visual delight with an exceptional level of detailing and remarkable features. We have placed design at the centre of creating the car to make it look as good as its technology. It takes forward MG’s brand legacy with cutting-edge technology and design excellence.’

MG Astor

The Astor’s interior is a reflection of the style it exudes from the outside. Generous use of leatherette in the dual-tone scheme of Sangria Red showcases the opulent side of the car. Soft-touch materials and spacious layout define what is possible when modern design meets the classic interpretation of luxury and comfort. The seven-inch LCD unit in front of the driver relays all the essential information in a crisp, modern format without clutter while the 10.1-inch infotainment system gives the occupants complete control and the best possible view of the digital features. Right above the dashboard is one of the Astor’s party pieces: the AI personal assistant.

Voiced by the Paralympic athlete, Deepa Malik, the AI is just the beginning of MG’s CAAP (Car as a Platform). The assistant responds to a variety of commands pertaining to car controls and entertainment coming to a grand total of 80-plus internet features. Some of the services on offer include MapMyIndia navigation, Jio connectivity, JioSaavn audio service, Wikipedia, and vehicle digital passport by KoineArth. In addition to offering information and executing commands, the AI is quite cheeky at times too. One can engage it in a bit of chit-chat and even ask it to crack jokes and it does have some good ones.

The tech blanket extends to the driving experience as well because the MG Astor is the first car in its segment to offer autonomous level two features. MG have partnered with Bosch to develop the ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems). The Astor comes equipped with 27 safety features as standard and up to 14 more for the ADAS. To keep things moving smoothly, the car draws data from six radars and five cameras.

  • MG Astor
    The fully-digital cluster also displays active driver aids and alerts

Under the hood, the Astor is powered by a choice of two engines: the 1.4-litre, Brit Dynamic 220 turbo-petrol or the 1.5-litre VTi Tech petrol. The former develops 140 hp and a peak torque of 220 Nm while the latter produces 110 hp and a peak torque of 144 Nm. The Brit Dynamic engine will be mated to a six-speed automatic while the other one will be offered with a choice of manual transmission or CVT automatic.

 

About the author: Joshua Varghese

 

Would gape at fast cars. Still does but now has a chance to drive some of them. Hates driving in traffic but makes up for with a spot of off-roading or the occasional track outing. Insta: @motoknight

 

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