Mahindra evaluating XUV Aero launch
31st Aug 2016 12:19 pm
Mahindra's affordable attempt in the SUV-coupe segment may see daylight; likely to be positioned above the standard model.
Mahindra is exploring potential for launching a production version of the XUV Aero concept which was displayed earlier this year at the Auto Expo 2016. Talking to journalists recently in New Delhi, Pawan Goenka, executive director, M&M, said, “We would want to launch it. We have already done some initial engineering work but we have not finalised anything about its business viability.” This means the XUV Aero may make it to production once the manufacturer is convinced of sales and if the company sees sustainable demand.
Nevertheless, if there’s a green signal for the project, it will take two years from the go-ahead for the production car to hit the road. While Mahindra has received some positive feelers from the market, it is not yet convinced that the Indian market allows a local company to launch products that fall in a premium price segment. According to Goenka, the Indian market is not yet ready for local players to launch premium products as the volumes do not justify the required investment unlike foreign OEMs who have markets of a significant size in the home countries.
Standing out from the crowd The XUV Aero is a coupé-SUV crossover concept based on the XUV500. It features a suicide door on one side and shares styling elements with the Mahindra SUV. The prototype has been built by the Mahindra Group-owned Italian design firm Pininfarina and styled in-house by the carmaker. The concept has multiple drive and suspension modes like Race, Off-Road, Street and Sport, and also gets an all-new 212.9hp mHawk engine. M&M claims the XUV Aero can do 0-60kph in under six seconds. A production version of this concept would mostly feature a conventional door setup, just like the standard XUV500.
The coupé-SUV segment in India currently only has models from major luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW with the GLE Coupe and the X6, respectively. The Mercedes GLC Coupe is also headed to India.
With the aggressively styled XUV Aero concept, Mahindra seems to be considering an entry into this niche segment. The concept is also a demonstrator for Mahindra’s new infotainment and connectivity systems that will feature on future production models. If it does make it to production, the XUV Aero is expected to be an upmarket offering and will sit above the XUV500 SUV.