Mahindra new compact SUV S101 caught testing

Mahindra is reportedly working on a new compact SUV codenamed S101 and the vehicle is in the early stages of testing. A camouflaged test mule of the Mahindra S101, which is a sub-4-metre SUV, was recently spotted testing.

Autocar India has posted a picture of a highly camouflaged test mule, reportedly the Mahindra S101 which will compete with the Ford EcoSport and will be positioned below the Mahindra Quanto. Going by the photo, it appears the S101 will be an all-new platform and looks like it has a monocoque body instead of a ladder frame chassis like the Quanto. It will likely share the Quanto’s 1.5 litre diesel engine, although Mahindra may look for other options. Also read: Upcoming Mahindra vehicles in India

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The styling has definitely taken a turn of the better and probably has been inspired significantly by the Ssangyong Korando and with some learnings from the Mahindra XUV500. The S101 will have a significantly more sporty design compared to the Quanto, going by the shape in the spy shot. The test mule does not have bumpers, and has dummy headlamps and tail-lamps. It does appear to have a significant amount of ground clearance. Also read: Tata plans compact SUV rivalling Mahindra Quanto

This compact SUV should ideally be a five-seater looking at the spy-shot, but knowing how Mahindra has managed to squeeze seven seats into the Quanto, don’t be surprised if this too manages to fit seven seats. An earlier render by IndianAutosBlog shows what the vehicle may probably look like, although this too is just speculative.

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Looking at the interest in the compact SUV space, after the Renault Duster and Mahindra Quanto as well as the upcoming Ford EcoSport that is to be launched in the next few weeks, there is likely to be a flurry of new launches in the compact SUV space. Fiat is reportedly planning a compact SUV and so is Tata. (Premier Rio is the only compact SUV that appears to have missed the party). The excise duty incentives to vehicles below 4 metres in length is reason enough for carmakers to launch vehicles that will appeal to budget conscious buyers. Also read: 3 compact SUVs to look out for in 2013

Mahindra is planning to launch four refreshes of its existing models within the next year, as well as launch the electric E2O on March 18, the Verito notchback (sub-4-metre) next month and an all-new Scorpio next year. The S101 would probably take two years to hit the market, going by the past timelines of Mahindra’s launches.

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