CarToq’s interaction with Mahindra’s engineering head at the recent launch of the new generation Scorpio has revealed many bits about the new, 2015 U301 Bolero. Mahindra will launch the U301 Bolero next year in multiple flavours, or in other words body styles. The sub-4 meter, compact SUV body style of the U301 Bolero will be pitched to younger buyers, who want some flamboyance in a rugged, ladder framed SUV priced under 7 lakh rupees.
The other end of the spectrum will involve a long wheelbase version of the 2015 Bolero that seeks out a completely different set of buyers, of that of cab operators. The compact SUV and people mover MUV versions of the 2015, U301 Bolero will be underpinned by a single platform and the recently launched Scorpio SUV’s hydroformed chassis will play a major part in making this flexibility happen.
The hydroformed ladder frame chassis of the new Scorpio has allowed Mahindra to shave weight, six kilograms of it, while also making the chassis double as stiff. A stiff chassis means better handling. The same hydroforming processes will be applied to the ladder frame of the U301 Bolero as well and these measures are likely to make the 2015 Bolero lighter, and a better handler too.
The ladder frame chassis that Mahindra has used for the 2015 new generation Scorpio SUV is a flexible unit that comes in three major parts – front, mid and tail sections. These sections also come in different track widths. Various lengths and track widths of the different sections can be mixed and matched to underpin different utility vehicles. These combinations will give Mahindra flexibility in terms of parts sharing and will also help reduce costs.
Likewise, the U301 Bolero’s compact SUV and long wheelbase MUV variants will get different combinations of this hydroformed ladder frame chassis. Mahindra is also expected to take learnings from the new Scorpio’s revised suspension geometry, damper characteristics and bump stops and implement it onto future utility vehicles such as the U301 Bolero and the facelifted Quanto.
In terms of engines, the U301 Bolero’s sub-4 meter variant will use the 1.5 liter, twin turbo diesel engine of the Quanto, in a rear wheel drive layout. Four wheel drive variants of the U301 Bolero are also likely to be sold in India, considering the compact SUV’s target market, which consists of younger buyers. The U301 Bolero will be sandwiched between the S101 and S102 compact crossovers that Mahindra plans to launch in 2015 and 2016 respectively.