Morris Garages India is set to roll into India with an all-new SUV named the MG Hector, with a launch expected in May. We experienced a few MG products in Shanghai, China, as well as some of the parent company SAIC's other cars, and you can read our initial impressions of how well put-together those felt.
Before we get to see the Hector in the flesh, MG is giving us a hands-on demonstration of the new-age technologies that the SUV's segment-first 10-inch infotainment touchscreen will pack. Terms like connected car, the internet of things, internet car and so on, as associated with the MG Hector, essentially, and simply, signify a car which is capable of connecting to the internet via an onboard network connection, and can provide local wireless internet to other devices inside the car. With technology partners like Microsoft, Cisco, TomTom and Gaana to name a few, MG is going all out with the services that the Hector will bring to consumers. For more details live from the event, follow our updates right here on this page.
The MG Hector will be the first in the segment to offer a 48V mild hybrid option, paired with a 1.5L turbo petrol. Other powertrains include a non-hybrid 1.5L petrol, and 2.0L diesel.
Stay tuned for a hands-on of the iSmart infotainment!
MG's iSmart comprehensive infotainment/assistance package will be offered free to customers for the first few years.
Gaana onboard the MG Hector infotainment, with a redesigned UI optimised to the 10.4in vertical touchscreen. Allows download of music, personalised recommendations & more.
TomTom has partnered with MG India to create IQ Maps, which promises to provide the most up-to-date navigation service & intelligently downloads map areas relevant to the owner compete with love traffic info and points of interest.
Gaurav Gupta, chief commercial officer, MG India, says the Pulse Hub will connect owners to a 24*7 dedicated support centre. Allows for personalised queries, with a human element.
Infotainment with an assistant built in?
That's what the MG Hector's infotainment promises, with personalised service, just based on your voice.
Hybrid computing - cloud and edge computing - will make sure that the MG Hector's infotainment allows the use of major features even in low network areas - a very important consideration for India.
The MG Hector's infotainment will be able to recognise over 100 voice commands activated by "Hello MG", developed by Nuance, a company leading conversational AI development.
Importantly, it will recognise Indian accented English!
Biggest advantage of connected car technology is OTA software updates - wireless updates for your car. This is possible via partnerships with Cisco, Microsoft & Unlimit, a network connectivity company, to name a few.
The MG Hector will have a 10.4in touchscreen with an always-on embedded sim card for network connectivity. The possibilities it opens up span the built-in apps, Artificial Intelligence and infotainment.
At the heart of the MG Hector's infotainment is the iSmart interface, which brings together the hardware, software, connectivity and services.
Rajeev Chaba, MD of MG India, takes to the stage at the unveiling of its new-age connected car infotainment - 'The Internet Car'
We're at the MG Motor India event in Delhi where all of these technologies will be showcased. Stay tuned
Remote control of essential vehicle functions will also be available, so stay tuned for more details as we get them.
With its onboard network connectivity, the Hector enables cloud services from within the infotainment itself. Entertainment, live weather updates, navigation with real-time traffic alerts and voice control will be bundled.
The MG Hector, with its embedded mobile sim-card will be able to connect to the internet wirelessly, and also provide a wireless local connection for your personal devices inside the car.
Back to the infotainment - the MG Hector will have a 10.4-inch touchscreen mounted centrally, the largest in the segment and upwards too. Smartphone connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto merely scratches the surface of the features.
The image below shows a similar set-up from the Roewe eRX5. expect the Hector to get something similar to this.
The MG Hector is sized to take on larger SUVs like the Hyundai Tucson, up to the Honda CR-V, but will sport a price tag that will help it compare to the Jeep Compass. We expect pricing to sit between Rs 16-20 lakh, ex-showroom.
The India-spec MG Hector will be a five-seater, with a planned seven-seat version to come. It will be powered by a 1.5-litre turbo petrol making 143PS, which will also likely have a 48V mild-hybrid option with torque-fill and regenerative braking capabilities. A 2-litre MultiJet diesel sourced from FCA will also be available. Transmission options will include a six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch gearbox
Everything from specific styling, to interiors, features and powertrains has been optimised for the Indian market. Watch our video for a brief look at the capabilities of MG's parent company, SAIC.
MG is wholly owned by SAIC Motor, one of the largest auto manufacturers in China. As a result, the Hector shares its platform, overall design and engineering with the China-specific Baojun 530, the Indonesian-market Wuling Almaz, and the Colombian/Thai-market Chevrolet Captiva.