New Mahindra Scorpio 2015 launched in six variants, prices Rs. 7.98 lakh – Rs. 11.46 lakh

Mahindra has just launched the new-generation 2015 Scorpio SUV in six variants with seating and feature options. The changes are not just cosmetic, but mechanical as well, which have supposedly improved the vehicles handling and dynamics considerably.

Prices of the 2015 Mahindra Scorpio

Scorpio S2: Rs. 7.98 lakh

Scorpio S4: Rs. 8.60 lakh

Scorpio S6: Rs. 9.77 lakh

Scorpio S6 Plus: TBD

Scorpio S8: Rs. 10.84 lakh

Scorpio S10: Rs. 11.46 lakh

(all prices ex-showroom Mumbai)

In the first lot, the Mahindra Scorpio will only be available as a rear-wheel drive SUV, but in the next few months the four-wheel drive and automatic variants of the Scorpio will also be introduced. Electric shift-on-the-fly, four-wheel drive will be available on the S4 and S10 variants only.

What’s new with the Mahindra Scorpio?

Mechanical changes

The biggest mechanical change to the Scorpio is the new-generation chassis. It is now a lighter (albeit by just a couple of kilos) hydroformed chassis, which should help in the handling. The other big change is to the track width (the distance between wheels on the same axle). Earlier it was 1450 mm front and rear, and it’s now 1500 mm in front and 1550 mm at the rear. This lowers the centre of gravity and makes it much safer while cornering at high speed, and theoretically also reducing body roll. Ground clearance of 180 mm (at rear differential) and 2680 mm wheelbase remain unchanged, while length is now at 4456 mm (from 4430 mm) and height at 1995 mm (from 1975 mm).

The other big mechanical change is to the gearbox. The earlier Scorpio (CRDE and MHawk) came with the NGT 520 five-speed manual transmission, which had certain torque limitations. The Scorpio now comes with a newer SMT 320 transmission – again a five-speed box, but which promises better performance. The 4×4 variant will get a different electric “front-axle disconnect” feature unlike the older auto-locking hubs.

The Scorpio comes with the tried and tested MHawk 2.2 litre diesel engine in all variants except the S2 entry level variant, which uses the 2.5 litre M2DiCr engine with lower power and torque (75PS / 200 Nm) . The 2.2 litre MHawk engine has been tuned for better fuel efficiency, while power output remains the same at 120PS at 4,000 rpm, while torque has dropped a bit to 280Nm at 1800-2200 rpm in the interest of fuel efficiency, but the new gearbox is likely to compensate for that.

Fuel efficiency is now a claimed 15.37 kmpl (ARAI tested).

The rear suspension and front suspension have been revised as well and the vehicle now rides on 17-inch wheels with 235/65 R17 tyres (the same size as the XUV500). The S2 variant, however, gets 15-inch wheels.

Cosmetic changes – exteriors

The front of the Scorpio has been given a thorough makeover (quite similar to CarToq’s render back in November 2013). It now gets twin-beam smoked headlamps with a wider grille, a burly bumper which seamlessly wraps into the body cladding (body coloured in the S6 variant onwards). The top-two variants get projector headlamps in the twin-beam assembly. Round fog lamps are present on the S8 and S10 variants, while the S10 also gets LED parking lights or “eye brows”, along with static-bending lamps (a feature first seen in the XUV500). The bonnet has been redesigned to a clam-shell type that now wraps over the fenders and it features hydraulic struts to open it (autonomous opening).

The side profile looks largely similar to the outgoing Scorpio as there has been no major change to the body shell as such. The new 17-inch alloys are the only standout feature when viewed from the side, in addition to the bezel around the indicator lamps.

And then there’s the rear, which has been met with mixed reactions. The tall “tower” tail-lamp reflectors in the outgoing Scorpio have been replaced with bulky black plastic bulges. The tail-lamps themselves are now a transparent, chrome and LED affair. The brake and tail-lamps are LED rings, inside which are orange indicator and blue reverse lamps. The tail gate has been fully redesigned and made lighter. The glass area has become smaller than the outgoing Scorpio. There’s a matt-black cladding that occupies a better part of the tail gate with chunky applique around the number plate in the top-end variants. The spoiler has been downsized a bit with the stop lamp moving to the rear windscreen.

Interior changes

The Scorpio is available with a number of seating options – seven seater with two jump seats in the boot, nine seater in the S2 variant, or seven seater with captain seats in the middle row and a bench in the boot (in the S8 and S10 variants), or an eight seater with benches in the middle and boot.

The dashboard and instrument cluster have been fully redesigned, and look quite smart. The fit and finish too has improved tremendously. The S10 variant gets a lot more kit as well. Power window switches in the top-end variants are now on the doors, while the base model still has them in the middle. The S10 comes with a touch-screen navigation infotainment system, steering mounted audio and cruise controls, voice commands, fully automatic climate control, electrically adjustable rear-view mirrors, anti-pinch power windows, rain-sensing wipers, follow-me home and lead-me to vehicle headlamps, and improved legroom for the front seats. The footwell too is slightly wider, but otherwise the space inside the cabin is largely the same despite the wider track, as the body shell has not been modified.

In terms of safety features the S6 Plus gets a single airbag and ABS, while the S8 and S10 get dual airbags. The Scorpio is being offered with a 2-year standard warranty up to 75,000 km and 2-year extended warranty up to 120,000 km.

The vehicle is available in five colours – black, white, molten red, regal blue and silver.

What we think

Photographs really don’t do much justice to the Scorpio. It actually looks better in the metal than it does in pictures. The new Mahindra Scorpio will definitely find a lot of takers, despite the mixed reactions to its looks. The vehicle has improved in some key areas – that is comfort and handling. The addition of features in the top-end variants would also add to its appeal. With the launch timed just ahead of the festive season, Mahindra definitely has reason to celebrate. And once the fervour settles, the four-wheel drive variant will come in a few weeks, followed eventually by the automatic variants to add to its sales.

Mahindra Scorpio Brochure (Click Thumbnails for full-size images):