Update: Mahindra U301 to be called TUV300, launch in September 2015
These are the first spy pics of the insides of Mahindra & Mahindra’s (M&M) all-new compact SUV known internally as the U301. However, unlike the monocoque based S101/102 compact SUVs that are due for launch sometime this year, the U301 is being developed on a shorter iteration of the new ladder-frame that underpins the new Scorpio.
M&M is targeting the rural market which favours rugged SUVs with the U301, which is likely to be positioned as a mini-Bolero to take advantage of the huge fan following the Bolero has in the hinterland.
The spy picture clearly shows that this new Mahindra compact SUV’s interior is close to production-spec. What’s visible from the partly covered dashboard is that it will feature a mix of faux aluminium and chrome. The instrument cluster houses two large, circular, chrome-ringed dials like the XUV500 and then there’s an all-new three-spoke steering wheel, with a prominent Mahindra logo at the centre; this new steering wheel design is also expected in the upcoming S101/102 compact SUV. Although not seen on the test-vehicle, top trims of the U-301 are expected to come with steering-mounted controls as well.
Two rectangular AC vents sit on top of the dash and with a faux brushed-aluminum finish. A largish screen sits below the AC vents which look similar to the one in the XUV500. USB and aux-in ports are also visible, as is a 12V socket.
According to our sources, the spy photo is of a 1.5-diesel ZLX variant of the U-301 and the manual AC with rotary knobs seen probably imply that the top-spec diesel car will come without automatic climate control. The other major observation on the close-to-production test mule is the Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) gearbox. Our sources also say that the U301 is likely to come only in two-wheel drive guise and with ABS.
Earlier spy shots suggest that the styling for this compact SUV will be more squarish and rugged-looking, like traditional Mahindra offerings. A four-wheel-drive variant is also in the works.
Also read: Mahindra's compact SUV offensive.