A week ago, a rash of spyshots of an under-test vehicle surfaced from down south, in Chennai. Chennai also happens to be the location of a massive Research and Development (R&D) set up of Mahindra & Mahindra, the country’s leading utility vehicle maker. While most car spotters assumed that the test mule in question was the all-new 2017 Scorpio, CarToq stuck its neck out to assert that the test mule was a U301 MUV in disguise. Here are more juicy details.
Mahindra & Mahindra is readying up a replacement to the Bolero MUV. The replacement, dubbed the U301, continues to retain the body on ladder chassis and a rear wheel drive layout. CarToq’s ace rendering artist has put together a speculative render of the next-generation Mahindra Bolero, codenamed U301. So, what is the give away from the spyshots that urges us to believe that the vehicle caught on test is the next-generation U301 Mahindra Bolero?
It’s simple really, especially if you’re cued in to the automotive design scene. Mahindra has persisted with a five slat grille design for the Bolero right from the first generation version and the spyshots indicate a similar grille up front, confirming CarToq’s line of thought. This crucial design element will carry on to the next-generation version of the Bolero, maintaining a continuum of design.
The Mahindra Bolero U301 is likely to use the Quanto’s 1.5 liter twin turbo diesel engine mounted longitudinally, with the key hint being the shorter bonnet. While the Quanto’s 1.5 liter twin turbo diesel engine is not only more powerful than the current Bolero’s 2.5 liter DI and 2.5 liter M2DiCR diesel engines, it is also lighter and more fuel efficient due to its triple cylinder design and lower cubic capacity.
Omitting the 4 cylinder diesel engines of the current-gen Bolero in favour of the 3 cylinder unit borrowed from the Quanto will allow Mahindra more flexibility with the length of the U301 2015 Bolero. CarToq sources indicate that the next-gen Bolero could actually slip into the 4 meter length category, and also make best use of the excise duty benefits that the Indian government confers upon cars with sub-4 meter lengths and sub-1.5 liter diesel engines.
The excise benefits will allow Mahindra to shock the market yet again with a cut throat price tag for the next-generation Bolero. So, sometime in late 2015, when you do hear of the U301 Bolero’s killer price tag, don’t be too surprised. Another dimension change on the U301 Bolero involves its height. The new MUV will be taller than the outgoing version.
Moving on to another interesting bit about the U301, the next-gen 2015 Bolero will feature a hydroformed body on ladder chassis, an all-new compared to the current chassis. The new chassis aims at weight reduction in the interests of performance and fuel efficiency. A five speed automated manual transmission built by UK-based Ricardo Engineering, which will make its debut in the Quanto later this year, will eventually be offered on the next-generation Bolero as well.
All in all, India’s best selling MUV is undergoing a dramatic transformation that aims to raise the bar higher than ever before. Watch this space.