Two iconic British car brands have lived almost a century and in the process have given the world some fantastic cars. The rich automotive legacy continues even as both Jaguar and MG Motor are now owned by Asian auto giants. The past week saw the newest addition to the portfolios of both these marquees in the Indian car market. While Tata motors-owned Jaguar launched the 2020 facelift of its executive sedan the XE, MG now owned by Chinese major SAIC motor showcased their second car for India, the ZS Electric Vehicle.
A lot has changed on the new XE and it definitely feels more than a mere facelift. Jaguar has worked on three major aspects of design, innovation and performance when it comes to this model year 2020 car. On the outside, the sedan gets enhanced front and rear bumpers, new LED headlights with “J” blade DRLs along with slender all-LED tail-lights with animated directional indicators. The car which gets 17-inch alloys appears wider and lower than before. Some of the bigger changes are seen inside the cabin. Highlight is the presence of F-TYPE derived Jaguar gear lever instead of the rotary knob seen earlier. Drivers who like rapid manual gear changes will surely appreciate this change. A new steering wheel, shared with the all-electric I-PACE, features “hidden-until-lit” graphics and tactile switches for intuitive control of key functions. There’s a new 10 inch ‘Touch Pro’ infotainment screen that works with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The car also gets wireless, Air Quality Sensor, navigation and a very attractive looking virtual instrument cluster. ‘Remote with InControl’ application allows you to check vehicle status like fuel level, window open etc. via phone and the car also uses AI for driver seat, mirror, audio and climate settings.
The new XE is powered by Ingenium mills, a 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol, producing 247 bhp and 365 Nm of torque or a 2.0 litre turbocharged Diesel producing 177 bhp and 430 Nm of torque. Both these engines work with an 8-speed automatic gearbox and the good thing is that both are compliant with upcoming BS6 emission norms. There are also different driving modes on offer in the car. The company says lightweight aluminum intensive body structure continues to play a major role in the car’s agile handling, safety and efficiency while double wishbone front and integral link rear suspension ensure superior ride quality. Available in S and SE variants for both engines the new XE is priced from ₹ 44.98 lakh (ex-showroom).
MG ZS EV
MG motor has unveiled what it calls India’s First Pure Electric Internet SUV —the ZS Electric Vehicle. The car maker says it marks the next phase of its global drive to usher in a cleaner and greener future. The SUV is powered by an all-new, advanced 44.5 kWh, liquid-cooled NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) battery from CATL, one of the world’s largest battery makers. It delivers 353 Nm of instant torque and 143 PS power, accomplishing 100 kmph from a standstill in 8.5 seconds. More importantly MG Motor says the car can travel a range of 340 kilometers on a full charge. Its three driving modes and three levels of regenerative braking can be tailored to suit individual driver preferences depending on how long is your daily drive.
A major concern for any probable electric vehicle owner is the availability of charging ecosystem. MG Motor India says it has got that covered by partnering with various global and local players in the EV field for its multi-step charging ecosystem that is aimed at fulfilling ZS EV customer requirements. Each ZS EV comes with an on-board cable to charge anywhere and an AC fast charger for charging at homes/offices. This will take around 6 – 8 hours for a full charge. The carmaker is also setting up a DC Super-Fast (50 kW) charging network at select MG showrooms. Here the EV will reach 80% battery capacity within 50 minutes.
Christened as the skyroof the sunroof covers 90% of the total roof area. The battery pack has been underneath the car which ensures no compromise in cabin or storage space and achieves a low centre of gravity that makes the EV agile and dynamic at corners. The car also gets a PM 2.5 filter to help its occupants breathe pure air while the head unit also displays how much CO2 is being saved during the drive. The touch screen system called “iSMART EV 2.0” has an inbuilt embedded SIM providing internet onboard and can also be connected to an external Wi-Fi connection. This allows users to connect their ZS EVs to their home networks and mobile hotspots. It also comes with features like real-time maps with charging station locator from TomTom, music from Gaana App and weather by Accuweather. MG says the system is better even than one seen on the Hector. The EV already sold in 10 international markets including the UK, Europe and Australia will launch in India in early 2020.