Mahindra recently announced the name of their new SUV, XUV 700. They also told that they will be temporarily discontinuing the XUV500. However, there is more to it. There will be a new SUV that has been codenamed S301. It was earlier expected that the new SUV will be called XUV 400 but XUV 500 is too big of a name to be left out. So, Mahindra will be using the XUV 500 name for the new SUV. Another advantage of using the XUV 500 moniker is that it will give a more up-market positioning to the new SUV which is expected to launch in early 2024.
The upcoming XUV 700 is a more up-market SUV when compared to the current XUV 500. So, it will be priced higher and once the current XUV 500 discontinues. There will be a huge price gap between the XUV 300 and the XUV 700. This is where the new S301 or the new-gen XUV 500 will sit.
The new SUV will be a 5-seater vehicle just like other mid-size SUVs. So, it will be smaller than the current XUV 500 which measures 4.6-metres in length. When compared to other mid-size SUVs like Hyundai Creta measures around 4.3-metres in length.
The S301 was supposed to be co-developed alongside Ford. So, there would have been a mid-size SUV from Ford too. The mid-size SUV was supposed to use Ford’s platform known as B772 and engines from Mahindra. However, because Ford and Mahindra broke up, Mahindra cannot use the underpinnings from Ford. Due to which they will be working on the S301 themselves that too from a fresh drawing board.
The S301 is expected to use the same platform as the XUV300. However, Mahindra would need to extend it a bit. The XUV300 uses the platform from SsangYong Tivoli. Because of this, the platform is quite heavy and expensive. Having said that the source said that Mahindra has learned the engineering of reducing the weight from XUV 700. He said, “The W601 programme taught us the art of light weighting and we are confident that the Tivoli platform, which is a great base to start with, can be optimised for the weight and cost,”
Powering the S301 will be a reworked version of XUV 300’s 1.5-litre diesel engine. The engine produces 115 PS of max power and a peak torque output of 300 Nm. The figures are quite good but Mahindra might retune the engine because the S301 will be a larger vehicle. There will also be a 1.5-litre Stallion petrol engine that will come with a turbocharger and direct injection. We first saw this engine at the Auto Expo 2020. The engine is capable of producing 163 hp of max power and 280 Nm of peak torque. This engine is expected to first debut on the Mahindra Marazzo. Having said that Mahindra will be focusing only on SUVs so there are chances that the engine might not make it to Marazzo.
Mahindra S301 will be designed at Mahindra Automotive Design Europe (M.A.D.E) located in UK. The design will probably be lead by Pratap Bose who designed the IMPACT 2.0 design language for Tata Motors. Mahindra is expected to price the S301 quite aggressively. So, expect it to start around Rs. 10 lakhs ex-showroom. It will be going against Hyundai Creta, Renault Duster, Nissan Kicks and Kia Seltos.