Hatchback-sized 2015 Mahindra S101 compact SUV caught on test

When the Xylo MUV was launched a few years ago, Mahindra’s advertising campaigns asked sedan owners to move to the more spacious MUV class. Sedan owners didn’t oblige. This ad strategy got a repeat with the Mahindra XUV500 crossover and the second time around, D-segment sedan owners ditched sedans in droves, for the XUV500, a crossover whose monthly sales in India are greater than those of all D-Segment sedans put together. Next year, Mahindra will be hoping for a reprise of the XUV500’s success through the S101 SUV.

To be launched next year, the Mahindra S101 compact SUV has been doing testing runs across Indian roads. One such example was spotted recently at Bangalore. The S101 is a sub-4 meter SUV that Mahindra will aim at B-segment sedans of India. In a nutshell, Mahindra will offer the S101 as a compact SUV alternative to hatchbacks, at a similar price point. Initial estimates suggest that the S101 compact SUV could start from under 5 lakh rupees, giving many hatchbacks a run for their monies.

However, we’ve seen how the Quanto compact SUV blew up in Mahindra’s face. By using the S101 compact SUV to take on segment stalwarts such as the Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Hyundai i20, Mahindra is entering ultra competitive territory. The mistakes from the Quanto, a chopped version of the Xylo, seem to have been corrected with the S101, which comes with a new design grounds up, replete with a monocoque body and front wheel drive layout. Mahindra will also offer one of its newly minted petrol engines that the automaker has jointly developed with Ssangyong.

A small diesel engine, likely to be the 1.5 liter twin turbo unit from the Quanto, allied to the front wheel drive layout of the S101 should give the compact SUV decent pep as well as fuel efficiency. Mahindra is expected to continue its bold experiments with a six seat (3+3) layout on the S101 with the gear shifter moving to the dashboard. From the latest set of spyshots, it is evident that the S101 is a crossover that sits in a compact form factor of a B-Segment hatchbacks, which in other words means that the SUV will be easy to drive and park in high traffic conditions.

Spyshots courtesy AdityaKashyap on Facebook