Mahindra will launch the Mahindra XUV 500 automatic variant by the end of 2015, according to a report by Autocar India. The popularity of automatic transmission equipped vehicles is increasing in India and Mahindra hopes that adding an automatic variant to the XUV 500 lineup will add to the brand’s appeal even more.
The Mahindra XUV 500 automatic variant will get the same or more features than the AWD W8 variant, including the AWD system. The new transmission will be sourced from Japanese component manufacturer Aisin Seiki, who are well known for their transmission systems used in some Volvo, Peuget and Cadillac products.
Updated on 22nd May 2014
The Mahindra XUV500 automatic variant may have been spotted in India. A partially camouflaged test mule of the SUV was seen testing with a new model number and some interesting stickers pasted on the rear windshield. The test mule carries the model number W-216, which is odd becuase the XUV500 is internally code-named the W-201. The stickers on the windshield state that the vehicle speed should be limited to within 50 KMPH and that some component in the vehicle had been sourced from Japan.
The biggest puzzler is how different the gear-knob looks on the test mule, which leads us and some other publications to believe that Mahindra is testing an automatic variant of the XUV500. The automatic gearbox will be sourced from Aisin Seiki, which may explain the sticker. The mystery with the new model number could be explained by the speculation that Mahindra is testing out new powertrains on this mule. Check out the spy shots below:
What do you think?
Updated on 22nd February 2014
The transmission will a 6-speed torque converter unit, which will used on the XUV 500 as well as an upcoming compact-SUV/crossover in the SsangYong lineup. The units will be comparatively cheap to obtain for Mahindra as they will be shared between at least these two vehicles, which could also mean that the automatic variant of the XUV 500 will not be very expensive.
The 6-speed torque converter will be one of the latest transmission from Aisin Seiki, and is in the development stage as of now. It will be a very high-tech unit as per Aisin, it will be able to handle high torque engines, be designed for transversely placed engines (like the one in the XUV 500), will offer faster shift times and have a lower rubber-band effect than other transmission systems.
The addition of the Mahindra XUV 500 automatic variant will certainly help Mahindra in terms of sales, it could also be a hit in other markets (like South Africa) where the XUV 500 is being sold. Though it may be a bit late at introducing an automatic variant (some companies like Renault or Tata will be offering automatic variants of their SUVs as soon as end 2014 or early 2015), it is better to being late than never. The automatic gearbox could also be added to other products in Mahindra’s portfolio.
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