Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), today christened their much-awaited global SUV (earlier codenamed W201) as the XUV 500 (pronounced as XUV five double oh).
Initially, one would think M&M was deviating from its nomenclature trend of ending all their vehicle names in O, but no, we were surprised to learn that this actually has two O’s in the name!
What does XUV 500 mean?
According to Mahindra, the name XUV 500 has a meaning; the double O denotes added ‘oomph’, while XUV 500 is an abbreviation for a Crossover Utility Vehicle. It’s targeted at “Generation X” according to a press release from the company.
The XUV 500 has been developed in-house at M&M’s research and development facility in Chennai and will be manufactured at M&M’s manufacturing facility at Chakan in Maharashtra. The XUV 500 is Mahindra’s first monocoque SUV, and the first SUV to sport a transverse engine layout from Mahindra.
What we know about the XUV 500 so far
The XUV 500 will be powered by a 2.2-litre m-Hawk engine that makes 138 bhp of max power and mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The all-wheel-drive variant of the SUV will feature a Borg-Warner on-demand 4×4 system for off-road activities. Based on the various spy photographs of the test mules, the new SUV is quite long, about the size of the Tata Aria. The XUV 500 is definitely bigger than any SUV that Mahindra has built so far, with a wider body and longer wheelbase.
The XUV 500 will feature Mahindra’s typical seven-slat grille at the front (as seen in the Mahindra Xylo), turn indictors integrated to rear view mirrors, large dual headlamps and LED daytime running lights. The rear of the XUV 500 will have an MPV look. But the width of the vehicle, with carved out wheel arches hides the MPV styling and also lends it a sporty stance. There are expectations that Mahindra will launch the XUV 500 with many safety features including ABS, ESP, traction control and airbags.
Mahindra W201 will compete with Tata Aria, Skoda Yeti and the Force One.
Price and Launch
The expected price range of the XUV 500 is Rs. 11.50 – 15.50 lakh depending on the variants such as 4×2, 4×4 and yet-to-be-announced trim levels. The XUV 500 will be available both as a front-wheel-drive version and all-wheel drive version. It is likely to be launched at the end of this month to take advantage of festival season bookings.
The name of the W201 has been one of the industry’s best-kept secrets. We think Mahindra has tried to keep a name that will have global appeal, and can be sold across markets without copyright issues. M&M had a problem with the Scorpio name in the U.S. market, as the Scorpio brand is owned by Ford there. Hence the Scorpio had to be named the Appalachian for the U.S. market. XUV 500 is quite neutral, but we did find a nondescript ATV with a similar codename in the U.S. Wonder if that will be a hurdle for the “world” SUV?