Mahindra is planning to launch to launch a compact sedan variant of its entry-sedan the Mahindra Verito. The Mahindra Verito notchback is to be launched in April 2013 and will come only with a diesel engine. (Update: New Spy photos of Mahindra Verito notchback below)
The Mahindra Verito at present measures 4,247 mm in length and therefore gets hit with an excise duty of 24% compared to just 12% for small cars measuring under 4 metres in length. The present Mahindra Verito is priced between Rs. 5.35 lakh and Rs. 7.2 lakh ex-showroom, Delhi across five variants – two petrol and three diesel. Also read: Pros and cons of Mahindra Verito
Mahindra, however, says that less than 5 percent of its sales are for the petrol variant – which is powered by a 1.4 litre engine putting out 75 bhp of power. Most buyers prefer the diesel Verito, which is powered by a 1.5 litre K9K diesel engine (from Renault) putting out 65 bhp of power and giving a fuel economy of over 20 kmpl. The Verito has been steadily selling over 1000 units a month since the launch of the refreshed Verito in July 2012.
The Mahindra Verito notchback, will measure just under 4-metres in length, without sacrificing any interior space. The loss of space will only be from the boot. The present 510 litre boot will get axed to accommodate only about 300 litres or so of luggage, which is less than what the Maruti Dzire and Tata Indigo eCS can manage. The car will retain the Mahindra Verito branding, with a sub-brand moniker attached to it. However, the lower excise duty will allow Mahindra to price the car very aggressively. The present diesel Verito starts at Rs. 6.30 lakh, but the notchback variant could see a launch price of just over Rs. 5 lakh. Also read: Mahindra Verito voted better looking than Etios
The car will come only with a diesel engine, because Mahindra does not have a 1.2 litre petrol engine in its portfolio – something it needs if it wants to meet the small car excise norms. However, the 1.5 litre diesel engine qualifies for small car excise benefits, and will make the Mahindra Verito notchback a good value-for-money entry sedan. Mahindra said it wasn’t going to consider a petrol at this point, as the pricing wouldn’t make sense.
The company also said it is not going to focus on small passenger cars besides the Verito and the upcoming electric Mahindra E20. It said it would rather focus on expanding its SUV and UV offerings in India instead of the small car space. However, the Verito will remain its sole sedan brand for now, with support continuing from Renault for the 1.5 litre diesel engine. The company said it wasn’t considering any other engine option for the moment. Also read: Seven upcoming Mahindra vehicles in India
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