MG Hector SUV production begins ahead of May 15 unveil
MG Motor India has begun production of the MG Hector at its facility in Halol, Gujarat, ahead of the SUV's global launch on May 15. In preparation for this launch, the company has heavily revamped the erstwhile GM facility. The company had set up a new assembly line, new press shop, new body shop, new parts distribution centre, testing track and a state-of-the-art training facility at the plant, over the last 18 months.
Also implemented are processes like advanced robotic spot welding, robotic roller hemming. A robotic brazing facilities, paint shop and connectivity through various processes have been brought in to bring more quality and consistency. The facility has an 80,000 unit capacity and MG Motor India has put in Rs 2,200 crores into this facility so far.
The Hector will get three engines at launch, two petrols and a diesel. One petrol will be a 1.5-litre turbocharged unit with 143PS and 250Nm while the other will add a 48V mild hybrid system to the mix. This will possibly allow for it to feature a start-stop system, regenerative braking and add torque fill functionality. The diesel engine will be the 2.0-litre FCA Multijet unit as seen on the Jeep Compass and Tata Harrier. The Hector will get it in the 173PS and 350Nm guise. Gearbox options are expected to be a six-speed manual and DCT.
The styling is as expected, it shares much with Baojun 530 from China but with an MG-specific grille and mildly reworked headlamps. So overall, the car looks quite imposing with an angular, boxy theme. There is some prominent sculpting along the side while the rear follows into a set of quite sharp creases, dominated by large rectangular lamps. As these pictures show, the Hector's tail lamps are connected by a red reflector band, unlike on the Baojun.
MG's debut SUV will have a similar footprint to that of cars like the Tata Harrier and the Hyundai Tuscon, but is expected to sport an aggressive price tag. Initially, only a five-seater will be available, priced expectedly around the Rs 16 to 20 lakh mark when pre-orders begin in June.
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