Snapshot – Driving an SUV in city traffic can be a liberating experience. You sit high, don’t have to worry about speed breakers and potholes, and then there’s the macho image that your ride oozes. All’s well until a traffic snarl comes up ahead of you, bringing you back to reality and the hefty clutch. While a heavy clutch can give your calf muscles of the left leg a good workout, it’s the last thing you want after a long, hard day at work, when you’d be rather be having your leg soak out stress in a warm tub. Enter the automatic SUV. Mahindra has five of them lined up for you this year. Here’s the lowdown.
XUV500 Torque Converter Automatic
The Mahindra XUV500 sits in a segment where the automatic transmission is almost a given, with all D-Segment sedans offering one. However, Mahindra has studiously stayed away from offering the XUV500 with an automatic transmission thus far. All that will change in the next few months though, as the flagship crossover is set to gain a torque converter automatic transmission from Aisin. This 6 speed unit will make the vehicle more appealing to prospective buyers, making short work of slow moving traffic situations. A price bump up of nearly 1 lakh rupees is likely for the AT variant of the XUV500, which is expected to retain the 2.2 liter mHawk turbo diesel motor.
The Quanto sub-4 meter compact SUV will soon receive a comprehensive facelift that will include a styling makeover and improved suspension. One of the biggest changes in the Quanto will be the addition of a 5 speed AMT option. A Quanto equipped thus was showcased at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo. The AMT unit is sourced from Ricardo, a UK based engineering major. The transmission will feature economy and regular modes, to ensure that the Quanto AMT returns decent fuel efficiency figures. The 1.5 liter-3 cylinder, twin scroll turbo diesel motor that makes 98.6 Bhp and 240 Nm, and the rear wheel drive mechanism will be retained.
S101 Micro SUV AMT
Mahindra has been spotted testing the S101 Micro SUV with an AMT option. This new vehicle will make its India debut in the second half of the year, spearheading Mahindra’s entry into a brand new segment. Built to be an affordably priced Micro SUV alternative to the B-Segment hatchbacks, the S101 will be powered by petrol and turbo diesel engines. It’s too early to surmise on which engine option will gain the AMT feature, or on whether both the engines would be offered with the AMT option. What we do know though is that the S101 will feature a monocoque body, a unique 3+3 seating arrangement and a front wheel drive layout.
Scorpio Torque Converter Automatic
The Scorpio, in facelifted guise, took the manual-only route at the time of its launch in the second half of 2014. This took the Scorpio faithful by surprise as the pre-facelifted model did offer a 6 speed torque converter gearbox with both rear wheel drive and four wheel drive options. Mahindra has been testing a facelifted Scorpio with the automatic gearbox option and it is only a matter of time before this variant is launched in India. The Scorpio Automatic will continue being powered by the 2.2 liter-4 cylinder mHawk turbo diesel motor with 120 Bhp-280 Nm outputs.
U301 Bolero AMT
The U301 Bolero is the other all-new, sub-4 meter SUV that Mahindra will launch in India this year. The ladder frame chassis equipped SUV is rear wheel driven and shares its mechanical aggregates with the Quanto. With the Quanto Facelift all set to get the AMT option, the U301 Bolero also doing so only seems logical. In fact, test mules of the U301 Bolero have revealed that the AMT option has been engineered into the new compact SUV. Like the Quanto, the U301 Bolero is expected to use the 1.5 liter, twin scroll turbocharger equipped diesel motor.