In the middle of September, Mahindra & Mahindra will launch it’s first all-new vehicle of the year, in the form of the TUV300. The new offering from Mahindra is a ladder frame compact SUV, and this makes it a very unique offering in its segment. While the likes of the Ford Ecosport, Renault Duster and the Hyundai Creta are monocoque bodied soft roaders at best, the TUV300 with its ladder frame is aimed at those who want a more rugged offering that can take on the rougher stuff with elan. Spyshots of an almost undisguised TUV300 have now hit the interweb, giving us a proper glimpse as to how the production version of the new compact SUV will look like.
Does it resemble anything already in the market?
From the looks of it, the vehicle seems like a scaled down Tata Sumo Grande than a Mahindra Bolero. The straight lines all around give it a butch stance, much at odds with the curvy compact SUVs that now abound. A spare wheel mounted on the tail gate is a classic SUV cue that gives the slab-like rear some much needed character. While the abominable Mahindra Quanto was a hurried, botched up design, the TUV300 is quite a looker, its resemblance to the Tata Sumo Grande lines notwithstanding. The TUV300 will be a rear wheel driven SUV, even as the platform on which it is based on is capable of supporting a four wheel drive layout.
What else do I need to know about Mahindra’s new SUV?
The decision not to offer a four wheel drive layout on the new vehicle has been taken keeping the Mahindra Thar in mind. A TUV300, with its hard top and a four wheel drive layout, could eat into the Thar’s sales, which is something Mahindra doesn’t want. The new compact SUV will feature a turbo diesel engine, dubbed the mHawk 80, which the ’80’ likely to stand for the amount of horsepower. Five speed manual and automated manual transmission options are likely. The TUV300’s launch will not see the Bolero being discontinued as the two vehicles are aimed at different sets of buyers.
Where will the new Mahindra SUV be positioned?
While the Bolero will be pushed in semi-urban and rural markets, the TUV300 will be targeted at urban compact SUV buyers who want something more contemporary. Mahindra is likely to price the new SUV attractively, with a sub-6 lakh rupee price tag likely for the diesel powered base variant. A seven seat (5+2) layout similar to that on the Quanto will be offered on the new offering. This will make the TUV300 the best in its segment, when it comes to seating capacity. The new sub-4 meter SUV will be built alongside the Mahindra XUV500, at the automaker’s Chakan manufacturing facility.
Spyshots courtesy AnythingOnWheels
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