Is this the Mahindra U301 Compact SUV?

Mahindra & Mahindra, India’s leading utility vehicle maker, is developing no less than 3 compact SUVs. While two of them are being developed on the Ssangyong X100 monocoque platform and are c0de-named the S101 and S102, the other SUV, dubbed the U301 is a body-on-ladder SUV that is likely to be replace the Bolero MUV. In the latest crop of spyshots, one such SUV has been snapped up on the outskirts of Chennai, the city which hosts a big Mahindra research and development operation in the form of the Mahindra Research Valley.

Known for its range of rugged utility vehicles such as the Mahindra Scorpio and the Bolero, the U301 Bolero Replacement is likely to be a new compact SUV that combines a go-anywhere appeal with a modern, compact form. The presence of smaller wheels on the test mule, a body-on-ladder chassis and a rear wheel differential indicate that the new SUV that has been spotted testing is more likely to be the U301 compact SUV than the next generation Scorpio or the monocoque S101 and S102 models, both of which are likely to be front wheel driven vehicles, at least on the base versions.

The spyshots of the SUV that appears to be the U301 shows an interesting mish mash of parts. While the headlamps seem like flat units borrowed from the Bolero, the tail lamps seem borrowed from the first generation Scorpio. The front honeycomb grille and slat design is XUV500 inspired while the 5 slat design smacks of a Bolero in disguise.  The wing mirrors are items from the Scorpio and the tail gate mounted spare wheel provision is from the Quanto. It is not uncommon to see Mahindra dressing up its test mules with parts from a range of existing utility vehicles to confuse car spotters and the U301 test mule seems like yet another attempt in this direction.

Spyshots courtesy MotorVikatan on Facebook