Mahindra & Mahindra, the country’s largest utility vehicle maker, seems busy with its new model, which will be placed in the compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) segment of the Indian auto market, post launch. Codenamed as S101, sources close to the development process revealed that the upcoming model will be placed below the recently launched Quanto. Reportedly, the new compact SUV of Mahindra will be offered with a price tag of around Rs. 5.5 lakhs, which will make it one of the most affordable utility vehicles in the Indian auto market.
Industry experts are of a view that the upcoming Mahindra S101 will be designed on the platform of much acclaimed XUV500. Few auto analysts also said that the yet to be launched model will be a compact version of the XUV500. Also, it must be noted that both Mahindra and its completely owned division SsangYong is working on the development of an all new small capacity engines, both petrol and diesel. It is believed that the S101 will get its powertrain from this development process. In order to lure buyers, the new vehicle is expected to come assimilated with a 6-speed transmission system, which will set new benchmarks in the respective segment. Incorporation of a cutting edge gearbox will surely assist the auto maker is marketing its new model as an urban commuting crossover.
A source said that the company is also planning that the launch of a new model in compact SUV segment does not cannibalise the sales of its recently introduced Quanto. Reportedly, this new model has been designed by Mahindra to compete against the likes of Renault Duster and upcoming Ford EcoSport. Sources further said that the model will share a number of features from the current generation model of XUV500, which has been doing well in the Indian auto market. The upcoming S101 will be offered in both petrol and diesel variants, which will cater to the demands of a large number of buyers.
Sources further revealed that the model will be offered in two different seating options, namely a six-seater and an eight-seater guise. On this, industry experts were reported as saying that being a sub-4 metre SUV, it will be quite difficult for Mahindra & Mahindra to offer its upcoming model as an eight-seater model.