With the coronavirus-linked nationwide lockdown now extended to May 3, 2020, carmakers are revising their product-launch timelines. MG Motor India, for one, has confirmed that its three-row Hector Plus SUV will now come a bit later than initially planned.
Speaking on the model’s launch in a #LivewithAutocar session on Instagram, Rajeev Chaba, President & MD, MG Motor India said, “We could have surprised everyone by launching it in April; but now April is ruled out. So we are on track to launch it in June. It has been delayed, but we said June earlier, so we are keeping some margin with us, so in June we should be launching it.”
In essence, the Hector Plus is a three-row version of the carmaker's Hector SUV that’s been on sale in India so far. The Hector Plus was first shown in India at Auto Expo 2020, revealing marginally different styling to the standard 5-seat Hector. Thicker LED DRLs, an all-black grille, a restyled front bumper and a new design for the headlight and fog-lamp cluster give the Plus its own identity. At the rear, the Plus sports new tail lights, a reprofiled bumper and a new dual-exhaust design. The Hector and Hector Plus will be near-identical in size, with the small difference in length down to the latter’s reshaped bumpers.
While the Hector Plus is likely to debut in India as a 6-seater, the same configuration it was shown in at the Auto Expo 2020 with a pair of captain seats in the second row. There are talks of a 7-seat version with a regular middle-row bench also joining the line-up. Apart from the new seating configurations, the cabin of the Hector Plus is also expected to get mild cosmetic tweaks and updated software for the 10.4-inch portrait touchscreen infotainment system. MG's in-car connectivity suite and a panoramic roof will be part of the package as well.
The Hector Plus will likely get the same engine-gearbox options as the Hector. A 170hp/350Nm, 2.0-litre diesel engine (with a 6-speed manual gearbox), a 143hp/250Nm, 1.5-litre turbo-petrol motor (with a 6-speed manual and an 6-speed auto) and 1.5-litre petrol unit with a 48V mild-hybrid system (solely fitted with an 6-speed manual) will be on offer.
Over the year, the MG Hector Plus will see competition from the likes of the upcoming Tata Gravitas as well as the second-gen Mahindra XUV500 in our market. Hyundai is also readying a 7-seat version of the new Hyundai Creta for launch in the second half of 2021.