The Mahindra Scorpio was first introduced in 2002. Since then, it has been one of the highest-selling SUVs in our country. The Scorpio is easily among the most recognizable SUVs on our roads. However, there are as many as 10 things that many of you don’t know about the Mahindra Scorpio.
Mahindra’s first truly in-house vehicle
The Mahindra Scorpio is the first-ever in-house vehicle from Mahindra and Mahindra. This SUV was born on the 50th anniversary of the company in the year 2002. The Scorpio was designed and developed in-house with some assistance from AVL Austria and consultants from Japan.
Only 23 engineers worked on the Scorpio project
Mahindra and Mahindra used only 23 of its expert engineers on this project. This helped the manufacturer keep the development costs under control. The complete cost of design and development of this SUV, including the tooling at the Nashik factory, cost Mahindra and Mahindra just about Rs. 500 crore. The company achieved this by including vendors in the design and development of the SUV. It’s said most systems were developed by the vendors while Mahindra decided how to put the parts together.
Leaf springs at rear
While the current Mahindra Scorpio offers an independent front suspension and coil springs with a torsion bar at the rear, the original Scorpio was launched with an independent front suspension and leaf spring suspension at the rear. The latter is something that’s still found on the Thar and the Bolero.
2-liter petrol engine
While many of you would remember that the original Mahindra Scorpio came with a 2.6-litre SZ2600 turbocharged diesel engine, not everybody knows that the company also offered a Renault-sourced 2.0-litre petrol engine. The gasoline burner offered a maximum power of 116 bhp along with a peak torque fo 187 Nm. Of course, the petrol engine variant didn’t sell much, which was largely due to the really low mileage it offered.
The Mahindra Scorpio was launched at a starting price of just Rs. 5.5 lakh. Yes, that was the price of the entry-level Scorpio back in 2002. At this price point, it was even Rs. 50,000 cheaper than the Toyota Qualis MUV, which was a rage at that time. Currently, the cheapest variant of the Scorpio (S3) is priced at Rs. 10 lakh (ex-showroom). While the Scorpio is much costlier now, let’s not forget that it sits on a new platform and has a much more powerful engine. The original Scorpio offered 109 bhp and 250 Nm. The new Scorpio, however, has 120 bhp and 280 on offer.
Not many know that one can officially buy a modified Scorpio from the company. Actually, Mahindra and Mahindra offers many customisation options through its in-house modification wing called Mahindra Customization, which is situated in Mumbai. Currently, Mahindra and Mahindra is the only mainstream SUV manufacturer to offer many modification options for its models.
First Indian SUV to offer sedan-like features
Mahindra and Mahindra has been pretty regular with keeping the Scorpio fresh in the market. In 2007, five years after the first Scorpio was launched in the country, the company added a raft of features to its highly popular SUV. The updated Scorpio came with many sedan-like features such as rain sensing wipers, cruise control, tyre pressure monitoring system, voice assist, reverse sensors and “follow-me-home” headlamps.
First Indian SUV to offer a diesel auto and start-stop option
Back in 2008, the Mahindra Scorpio became the only budget SUV to offer an automatic transmission option with the diesel motor. The Scorpio’s 2.2-litre mHawk turbocharged diesel engine was offered with an optional six-speed automatic transmission. Even today, the Mahindra Scorpio is the only 4×4 ladder-on-frame SUV under Rs. 20 lakh to offer an automatic transmission. The company also launched a Micro Hybrid idle start-stop feature on this SUV.
Image courtesy Team-BHP
2.2 litre turbo petrol
The Mahindra Scorpio is also sold in Latin America, where it’s available with a 2.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine. This turbo petrol motor has been derived from the mHawk diesel motor of the India-spec Scorpio. The petrol version outputs 154 bhp and 280 Nm. However, this engine is yet to make it to India.
India’s not the only place
Like we just said, the Scorpio is sold in Latin America. Well, this SUV is also available in Africa and South America, where the company produces this SUV. The Scorpio is also available in Egypt, where it’s a CKD import. Same is the case with Uruguay. Even the Scorpio Getaway pick-up truck is quite popular in many parts of the world.