Come 2015, Mahindra will try to change the SUV landscape in India by launching the S101 code-named Micro SUV. The S101 is expected to take the competition to B-Segment hatchbacks sold in India, which means that a starting price well under 5 lakh rupees is a distinct possibility for the S101. The Micro SUV will also come with a seating innovation by offering room for six adults in a sub-4 meter form factor. The S101 will do a Datsun Go with a flat front seat that is capable of squeezing in three adults instead of the customary two that the current crop of captain seats manage in most cars.
The second row will also accommodate three adults, taking the S101 Micro SUV’s passenger carrying capacity to 6 adults. Mahindra’s collaboration with Ssangyong to develop small capacity petrol engines is likely to impact the S101, what with the Micro SUV expected to be sold with a 1.2 liter petrol engine. The 1.5 liter-3 cylinder twin turbo diesel engine borrowed from the Quanto compact SUV is also expected to power the diesel powered variants of the S101. While a 5 speed manual gearbox will drive the front wheels of the S101, an automated manual transmission option could be added in future.
The S101 will feature a monocoque body and this, in combination with the front wheel drive layout, is expected to the make the Micro SUV much lighter than the ladder frame-rear wheel drive Quanto. Fuel efficiency could also improve by a big margin. These are important factors as Mahindra, with the S101 Micro SUV, plans to wean away B-Segment hatchback buyers, who are extremely mileage conscious. The S101 is very likely to be Mahindra’s least priced SUV, undercutting even the Thar DI, which starts at 4.82 lakh rupees.
Spyshot courtesy MotorVikatan