Mahindra S101 compact SUV to get dashboard mounted gear lever and front bench seat

Mahindra & Mahindra has been testing a sub-Quanto compact SUV codenamed S101 for a while now. The S101 compact SUV has been spotted testing in the suburbs of Southern metropolis of Chennai and the spyshots reveal interesting bits of the S101’s interiors.

An important takeaway from the spyshots of the S101’s interiors is the  center console mounted gear lever. What this design feature does is, it frees up the floor and makes way for a bench type front seat (like the one seen on the Datsun Go). In essence, the S101 could feature a bench seat up front, with room for three adults.

While Datsun states that the bench type front seat is meant for easier access to the driver and passenger seats from both sides of the car, Mahindra might just go the other way around and position it the S101 as an SUV with a 3+3 seating configuration compact.

With the Mahindra S101 compact SUV, the automaker is said to be taking aim at B-Segment hatchbacks. With the S101, Mahindra could set the cat amongst pigeons, like it did when it let the XUV500 loose on the D-Segment sedan brigade. In the S101’s case, the B-Segment hatchbacks could be the target.

SUVs have forever appealed to the Indians and even though the S101 may not be a full blown SUV, it will still look more butch than the regular hatchback. This is the point of difference that is expected to sway the balance in its favour.

Among other things, the Mahindra S101 compact SUV will feature a monocoque chassis, and petrol and turbo diesel engine options. The petrol engine will be a 1.2 liter-3 cylinder unit jointly developed by Mahindra and Ssangyong while the diesel engine is expected to be the 1.5 liter-3 cylinder twin turbo unit that is seen on the Quanto. A second half 2015 launch is likely for the S101, whose price is expected to be close to the Rs. 5 lakh mark.

Source: Motor Vikatan Fb page