Mahindra is working on not one but two new compact SUVs codenamed the S101 and S102. The S101 will be the lower priced of the duo and is likely to be launched in the second half of 2015. Till recently, pre-production test mules of the S101 were regular sights on highways in and around Chennai. Now though, a new test S101 mule, sporting what seems to a full fledged production body shell has been spotted doing testing rounds.
In terms of design, the S101 seems to have a rounded body, like the XUV500. This is to be expected as the compact SUV will take a monocoque route. Also, the rear of the compact SUV shows a sloping roofline, another touch that is similar to the XUV500’s design. Large bumpers and 15 inch wheels are other visual elements that add meat to the S101’s design.
The new test mule of the S101 is an indicator that the compact SUV’s development is moving ahead rapidly even as Mahindra zeroes in on a 2015 launch time frame for their new compact SUV. The S101 is likely to be positioned well under 6 lakh rupees in terms of pricing as Mahindra has stated that it intends to give B-Segment hatchbacks a tough time by giving hatchback buyers the option of buying an SUV at a similar price point of a B-Segment hatchback.
The monocoque bodied S101 compact SUV will be the second such vehicle after the flagship XUV500 crossover to feature such a body construction, which has been developed indigenously by Mahindra. The S101 will have plenty of inputs from Ssangyong, especially in terms of engines and gearboxes. Notably, the S101 will use a new range of petrol and turbo diesel engines that Mahindra is developing along with Ssangyong.
An innovative 3+3 seating layout on the inside could be a standout trait of the new compact SUV. Mahindra will keep the length of the S101 under 4 meters in order to position the compact SUV within the small car bracket. Also, the tail gate will have a spare wheel mounted on it to give the compact SUV a butch look. The Mahindra S101 compact SUV is likely to undercut both the Quanto and the Ford EcoSport in terms of price and positioning.
Spyshots courtesy QuarterMile