MG is splitting its small SUV range in two, with a facelifted ZS with more power and tech wearing the ZST nameplate to join the current ZS in showrooms.
The ZST will be officially revealed next month and will reach showrooms in the third quarter of this year.
Over the regular ZS, the ZST will add the MG Pilot suite of safety technology. This includes adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, autonomous emergency braking with forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and speed assist.
It’ll also pack a more powerful engine beneath its restyled front end. The ZST will use a turbocharged 1.3-litre three-cylinder engine producing 120kW of power and 230Nm of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
That’s a substantial bump of 38kW and 70Nm over the current range-topping turbocharged 1.0-litre three-pot.
The interior features a larger 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; the current ZS’s screen is an 8.0-inch unit. MG also promises there’s more soft-touch materials than in the ZS.
In top-spec Essence guise, the ZST will also include a panoramic sunroof and a digital instrument cluster.
Exterior changes include a new grille and wheel designs and restyled headlights and tail lights.
Though it’s unusual for a company to sell an updated version of a car alongside an unchanged variant here, this is common practice in the Chinese market.
Hyundai, for example, sells three different generations of Elantra concurrently.
It’s not clear for how long MG will continue to sell the older ZS model. Also, as we reported earlier this month, the upcoming ZS EV will keep the old ZS’s styling when it lands here in the fourth quarter of this year.
That means it’ll also keep the smaller, 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.