Mahindra’s mini-Xylo (codenamed U203) – widely believed to be a small SUV – has been caught testing once again. Fan photos posted on Mahindra Xylo’s official Facebook page show a heavily camouflaged mini Xylo, with the spare tyre mounted on the boot door, just as on the recently launched Mahindra Thar.
The mini Xylo’s USP will be its sub-4 meters length that will help it earn excise duty rebates, similar to small cars. Currently, the only small SUV (under 4 metres) is the not-so-popular Premier Rio,which is based on the Chinese Zoyte. Premier Rio is priced in the range of Rs. 5.25 lakh-Rs. 5.95 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune).
To be based on the current Mahindra Xylo, the mini SUV may get only minor changes at the rear. Hence, expect a Xylo-like rear design with high-mounted tail lamps and raised bumper. Also, the front grille of the small Xylo will have smaller saw-tooth grille and proportionate wheel arches matching the smaller size. Related: SUVs in India
Mahindra may have planned the mini Xylo to fully utilize the Xylo platform as well as to explore new segments in the Indian SUV market. The company recently launched the Xylo-based pick-up, Genio. Powered by a 2.5-litre CRDe diesel engine that develops 75 bhp of maximum power and 220 Nm of maximum torque, the Genio has a redesigned front grille but leaves out the familiar Mahindra ‘tooth’ grille as on the Xylo, Bolero and Scorpio. The Genio is priced at Rs. 4.99 lakh (BS III) and Rs. 5.15 lakh (BS IV) ex-showroom, Mumbai.
In December 2010, Mahindra had another important launch in the 4×4 SUV segment, the Thar. Based on the old MM540/550 design, the Thar has a tougher steel body than its predecessor. The Thar CRDe 4×4 is powered by a 2.5-litre CRDe engine that generates 105 hp of maximum power at 3,800 rpm and 247 Nm of maximum torque at 1,800-2,000 rpm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed transmission besides a 2-speed gear reduction (Ratios – High 1.0:1 and Low 2.48:1).