HT Auto wants to start sending you push notifications. Click allow to subscribe
MG Motor has a clear and unwavering focus on SUVs and the latest manifestation of this determined foray into the Indian market comes in the form of the MG Motor Astor SUV. Not that the heavily-populated, intensely-fought mid-size SUV space in the country needed yet another player but there is still a large scope. And MG is hoping that Astor is able to not just enter the fight as a fringe player but flex muscles to mount a credible challenge as well. It may not be easy but does the Astor have what it takes to compete?The confidence that MG Motor is attempting to showcase was clearly reflected in the choice of the first-drive location in the invite that came - Buddh International Circuit! I'll admit I didn't quite understand just why would I want to drive a car like Astor on a track formerly graced by boisterous F1 race machines. But by the end of the afternoon session, some of the standout highlights of the Astor became amply clear. Interested, read on.
Take a track, Astor style:
I know what you're thinking. “Why test a car that on a controlled race track with the ideal conditions to bring out its starry highlights? What about broken roads, speed breakers, the grip on submerged streets, braking when the whimsical cattle suddenly decides to cross the path ahead?” I know because I share the thought.And yet, it is really only on a race track that some of the other highlights of a car can be put to the absolute test without compromising on safety. As such, engine, gearbox, speed and steering are some of the key points I would focus on below, leaving factors like suspension for another day.So, the Astor will be made available in two petrol engine options - a 1.5-litre VTI unit which comes mated to a five-speed manual and a CVT box, and a more powerful 220Turbo which offers six-speed automatic transmission