Mahindra has just taken the wraps off the new XUV500, its most important SUV since the Scorpio. Designed to appeal to Indian as well as global SUV buyers, this thoroughly modern SUV is the first Indian off-roader to be built around a car-like monocoque chassis.
The design is very forward looking and, undoubtedly, the styling is clearly the talking point here. The stance of the car is spot-on. Almost Mitsubishi Outlander like in the way it carries its weight, the long wheelbase, tapering roof and rising beltline makes this car look quite dynamic and modern. The best part however is that the stand-up awkwardness of the Scorpio is gone, and that’s fantastic. The detailing and aggressive cuts and slashes all over the body make this car look even more modern and futuristic.
The XUV500 also has a tough build, plenty of space on the inside and is well equipped too. It has LED reading lights, ESP, tyre pressure monitoring and even six airbags. Under the hood is the familiar 2.2-litre mHawk engine similar to the one in the Scorpio. However, it now makes more power and torque – 140bhp and 33.33kgm - and the engine is placed transversely. The XUV will be launched in front-wheel-drive as well as all-wheel-drive versions and there is a new cable-operated six-speed manual gearbox, developed with the help of Riccardo, capable of handling more torque than the Scorpio’s gearbox.
Assuming Mahindra doesn’t get carried away with the price and the car drives, rides and handles well, it looks like Mahindra are on a good wicket. Stay tuned for our first drive tomorrow.
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