Mahindra & Mahindra has confirmed that it will be launching two new compact SUVs in India next year to take on a range of products from other car manufacturers. The first of the Mahindra compact SUVs will be micro SUV codenamed S101 which will take on large B-segment hatchbacks. The second one codenamed U301 will be a compact SUV bigger than the S101 with a rugged, utilitarian design and will spawn models of the future Bolero as well.
The Mahindra S101 will be smaller than most compact SUVs as it has been designed to take on B-segment hatchbacks. Designed with a monocoque chassis, the micro SUV will possess certain SUV-like characteristics such as a high riding position and ample ground clearance. All this couple with an estimated price of Rs. 5 lakh will make it a very interesting buying option. It could also take on the likes of the Polo Cross, Etios Cross and the currently under development i20 Cross. A new 1.2 litre petrol engine being developed by Mahindra ad Ssangyong will power the S101 and it could also get a diesel sometime in the future.
The second of the two Mahindra compact SUVs, codenamed U301, planned for 2015 will be based on a hydroformed ladder frame chassis aimed at buyers looking for ruggedness, utility and go-anywhere capabilities in a compact SUV. The vehicle will a diesel engine for sure, maybe the Quanto’s 1.5 litre unit and will carry a rear wheel drive set-up with an optional four wheel drive arrangement. The next generation Bolero will be based on a longer version of this compact SUV. What sets it apart form other compact SUVs on sale in India is the ladder frame chassis as all other compact SUVs possess a monocoque frame.
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“We were slow on launches in 2013 and 2104. Now we are back with new launches. In 2015, we will launch two sub-4 meter compact SUVs and one light commercial vehicle. All the three would come on completely new platforms,” Mahindra & Mahindra Executive Director Pawan Goenka told reporters.
Even though both Mahindra compact SUVs are aimed at different segments there could be a price overlap among some varaints and could result in one eating into the other’s share but that wouldn’t necessarily a problem for Mahindra. The plan to take on hatchbacks and compact SUVs seems ambitious for sure but it’s success depends entirely on execution and pricing.