Rumors and renderings of Mahindra’s all-new “world SUV”, codenamed W201, have floated to the surface time and again throughout 2010. Educated guesses, eye-witness accounts, and complete speculation give us a decent overall understanding of the unnamed SUV/crossover despite Mahindra’s official policy to not comment on rumors about new or upcoming models (apparently they employ a similar policy regarding timelines and vehicles destined for the US market, but that is another story). As the rumored 2011 launch (2012 for US?) of the W201 approaches, here are some updates and further speculation served up for your reading pleasure:
Originally thought to be an upgraded replacement for the Scorpio SUV (the body-on-frame sibling of the US-bound Mahindra TR20 and TR40 small diesel pickups), it’s become clear that the larger W201 crossover will be a far more luxurious step above the relatively primitive (by US standards) Scorpio/TR.
Mahindra is currently in the process of taking over bankrupt South Korean car maker, Ssangyong Motor. This acquisition should give Mahindra access to further expertise in unitized body design and manufacturing, as well as access to Ssangyong’s gasoline and diesel engine designs. Combine this with Mahindra’s recent acquisition of pure-electric car manufacturer, Reva, and a variety of gasoline, diesel, electric, or hybrid powertrains may eventually be offered in the W201.
our friends at Indian Autos Blog have taken photos of the pre-production SUV, and artists have rendered images of what the undisguised SUV may look like. Photos and renderings reveal the W201’s exterior styling to be somewhere between a Nissan Murano and a Pathfinder which was left in the oven too long. It may not be beautiful, but all around it’s a much more modern look than that of the TR20 and TR40 which seem to pay homage to Japanese pickups of the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Some lucky civilians have gotten up close to the mules and at least one has even had some limited drive time in the W201. The interior has been described as a giant leap forward for Mahindra, but still not likely up to the high expectations of American consumers. Certainly this is something which could be fixed before production begins. Witnesses state that the W201 is loaded safety features commonly found on US-market vehicles such as a complement of air bags, traction control, and stability control. Mules have been observed with 6-speed manual transmissions, but it’s a given that automatic versions are a must for US sales of this type of vehicle.
next generation Scorpio platform also due to launch in 2011. Time will tell what their plan is for sure. In the mean time, we’ll keep on speculating.
Source: IndianAutosBlog, Team BHP, BurnYourFuel