Mahindra’s bestselling SUV is set to get a major upgrade to meet the safety and emission standards that will come into effect from April 1, 2020. The Bolero, though ageing, is still going strong 19 years after it was launched and will be ‘future-proofed’ to meet the latest regulations.
As part of the upgrade, Mahindra will offer ABS across the Bolero line-up from this month. The SUV range will also get features like driver's airbag, seatbelt reminder warning, speed warning and rear parking sensors before July 1, 2019. However, a more serious upgrade will be carried out before October 1, 2019, when all cars have to meet the stringent offset front and side crash standards.
In addition to this, all cars will also have to meet a new set of pedestrian protection crash regulations by April 1, 2020. This will require the front end of the Bolero to be modified to accommodate a higher bonnet, a softer bumper and a redesigned grille to reduce pedestrian injuries in case of an accident.
Though the deadlines for the various safety regulations are staggered, you can expect all these regulatory requirements and modifications to be rolled out into the Bolero facelift.
The Mahindra Bolero facelift will also get an upgraded engine by April 2020 as by then all internal combustion engines will have to shift to the much cleaner BS-VI standards. Mahindra, however, won’t employ an all-new engine. Instead, to keep the Bolero cost-competitive, it will continue to offer the antiquated 2.5-litre m2Di engine that, incredulously, will be upgraded to the BS-VI level.
It is not clear if the Bolero will get the mHawk engine at a later stage, but given the huge cost impact of the extra BS-VI hardware, it seems unlikely.
In 2018, Mahindra sold nearly 80,000 units of the Bolero, while in February 2019, it notched sales of 7,974 units. More importantly, the huge profit margins make the Bolero Mahindra’s bread-and-butter model and the company isn’t going to give up on this near two-decade-old SUV anytime soon.
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