Ground clearance measurement rule revision likely

The government may soon mandate the measurement of ground clearance of vehicles in an unladen condition, making it harder for SUVs to be lowered to below 170mm off the ground.

As we reported earlier, Mahindra got around the government’s new SUV tax cleverly and inexpensively, by using an alternate measurement methodology and adding a simple stone guard under the engine to bring its ground clearance down from 200mm to 160mm. This solution, which did not require any major re-engineering, allows the XUV500 to duck below the 170mm minimum ground clearance mark. As a result the Mahindra SUV escapes from being qualified as an SUV and an additional three percent of excise duty (SUVs are attract a 30 percent excise tax while cars longer than four metres attract 27 percent) and this translates to savings of approximately Rs. 30,000 on the sticker price of each car. 

However, the government has wisened up to how easily Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has worked around the regulation and is planning to revise the ground clearance measurement procedure. While ground clearance will still be measured from the lowest point on the car, the revised methodology would require the vehicle to be measured unladen.  

The current methodology used measures the ground clearance of all vehicles in a fully laden condition. The XUV500 with its new stone guard when measured fully laden has a ground clearance of 160mm but this could rise by 30-40mm with the suspension expanding in unladen conditions. Will M&M drop the stone guard further? It won’t work because with a full load, a lower stone guard would be vulnerable and prone to damage especially over large speedbreakers and stones.  “If this new regulation comes in we won’t be able to modify our cars and will just have to accept the SUV tax” says Dr Pawan Goenka, president of M&M. “We will have to pass on the additional cost to customer” he adds.

So, if you’re in the market for an XUV500, the time to book one is now and save approximately Rs 30,000 before the revised regulation comes into effect.

Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.
The Renault Lodgy may just have what it takes to worry the Toyota Innova. We have an exclusive India drive, and a whole lot more in our March 2015 issue.
What's in this issue?

comments powered by Disqus

notSet

Most Read
Latest News
Rolls Royce ‘Serenity Concept’ unveiled
Based on a Series-II Phantom, the car features interiors in Chinese silk,...
1 hour ago   2 pictures
Suzuki iM-4 SUV concept unveiled
Suzuki unveils small 4X4 SUV concept powered by 1.2-litre engine with brake...
2 hours ago   2 pictures
F1: Alonso to miss Australian GP on medical grounds
The Spaniard suffered concussion in a testing accident at Barcelona last month.
2 hours ago   1 picture
Maruti’s i20 challenger unveiled at Geneva Motor Show
Suzuki iK-2 concept points at a future production model (YRA) and is powered...
3 hours ago   6 pictures
Honda Civic Type R debuts at Geneva
The Type R has a new 306bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre engine; it claims a...
3 hours ago   3 pictures

Autocar Magazine

Issue: 187 | Autocar India: March 2015

The Renault Lodgy may just have what it takes to worry the Toyota Innova. We have an exclusive India drive, and a whole lot more in our March 2015 issue.
Autocar Magazine