Mahindra XUV300 compact SUV hits the rally circuit with Gaurav Gill & JK Tyres

The Mahindra XUV300 has just hit the Indian rally circuit with ace rallyist Gaurav Gill set to pilot one of the two XUV300s that will take part in this year’s INRC rally season organized by the Federation of Motorsports Control in India (FMSCI). Gaurav Gill will be driving for JK Motorsports, the rally division of JK Tyre. Mahindra Racing is expected to support both the petrol and diesel variants of the XUV300, which will run regular gearboxes for now. Both the Mahindra XUV300s used for rallying are likely to be extensively modified. The exact details on the modifications is likely to be revealed by Mahindra in the coming weeks, just as the rally season kicks off.

Mahindra Xuv300 Rally 1

Images courtesy Sirish Chandran

Images of the rally-spec Mahindra XUV300 indicate a different paint scheme on the outside, revised alloy wheels (forged units meant to be much lighter and stronger than the stock units), a full roll cage to protect the driver and co-driver, bucket rally seats, stripped out dashboard and a new steering wheel that’s much smaller than the stock unit.

The rear seats and much of the compact SUV’s interiors have been stripped out to make it as light as possible. Engine outputs of both the petrol and diesel rally XUV300 variants are yet to be revealed. We expect a remap at the minimum considering the fact that both engines are turbocharged, and that they can be tuned to make much more power and torque through a remap.

Mahindra Xuv300 Rally 3

Rallying the Mahindra XUV300 is likely to bring in a lot of benefits to the end customer in the long run. When regular cars are put through the rigours of rallying, components such as suspension, drivetrain and others bits get severely stress tested. This gives car manufacturers valuable feedback to improve the vehicle. This is also the main reason why factory supported motorsport teams are run in the first place. Coming back to the Mahindra XUV300, the SUV was launched earlier this year, and has quickly moved up sales charts to become the third best seller in its class – behind the Maruti Brezza and Hyundai Venue.

Mahindra Xuv300 Rally 2

Significantly more spacious than other SUVs in its class, the Mahindra XUV300 also has class leading safety and outputs. The petrol engine is a 1.2 liter turbocharged unit with 112 Bhp-200 Nm on tap while the diesel is a 1.5 liter-4 cylinder unit with 115 Bhp-300 Nm. Both engines get 6 speed manual gearboxes as standard and Mahindra will soon introduce 6 speed AMT units on these motors.