Mahindra & Mahindra has begun working on an all-new Scorpio, codenamed W105. The current Scorpio, now almost 10 years old, is widely credited as being the SUV that created modern-day Mahindra & Mahindra, and though the current car continues to sell well, a new model has been deemed essential for future success.
Unlike the recent XUV500, the new Scorpio won’t be built around a car-like monocoque. Mahindra’s experience and success with the Bolero has shown that hardy body-on-frame SUVs work well both in the urban and rural markets, and as a result the new W105 will be based on a heavily modified version of the current Scorpio’s platform. The new Scorpio however is likely to have a lengthened wheelbase to help it tide over the current Scorpio’s one serious limitation – a lack of legroom in the second row. There will be an all-new body, an updated (probably 140bhp) version of the M-Hawk engine and the new Scorpio could also include lessons learned from the ambitious lightweight Scorpio project, known as T026; which could give it an edge as far as fuel economy is concerned.
Work on the W105 is primarily being carried out at Mahindra’s new research facility in Chennai, known as Mahindra Research Valley (MRV). The company is expecting an accelerated development programme thanks to all the new high-tech labs and facilities present. Despite the success of the XUV500, the all-new Scorpio is likely to be the mainstay for Mahindra in the second half of this decade, and as a result this project is being given special priority. We expect it will hit showrooms in 2014.
In addition to the all-new Scorpio, Mahindra is also working really hard to get the new pick-up version perfectly set up for export markets, which the company believes will be crucial in coming years.