2018 Mahindra XUV500 will likely have the existing engine upgraded to produce 170 PS and 350-360 Nm torque; minimal exterior and interior tweaks expected
As we reported earlier, the largest SUV manufacturer in the country is working on a new facelifted avatar of its flagship XUV500. Since entering Indian market in September 2011, the upmarket SUV has been a popular model courtesy of its rugged dynamics and in fact it is the first Mahindra model to be based on monocoque construction emphasising rigidity and core strength.
Just over a year of its launch, Mahindra ramped up the production capacity to 5,000 units per month due to the increase in demands. It was at a period when the SUVs and crossovers were not big sales turners as it currently is. The design of the XUV500, claimed to be inspired by Cheetah, has not aged and it’s hard to believe that it has already been nearly six years since it came out.
Powering the XUV500 is a 2.2-litre mHawk turbocharged diesel engine which can also be found in the Mahindra Scorpio. It is good enough to produce a maximum power output of 140 bhp at 3,750 rpm and peak torque of 330 Nm at 1600-2800 rpm. It is connected to a six-speed manual gearbox developed by Ricardo.
In the Delhi and NCR region, it is made available with a downsized 2.0-litre mHawk diesel engine that develops same power and torque. Initially, the XUV500 was launched in two versions: the W6 in two-wheel drive and the W8 with two or four-wheel drive system. The W6 included a six-inch monochrome infotainment display, two airbags, ABS with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and disc brakes.
The W8 additionally had GPS navigation, six airbags, a touch screen, electronic stability program (ESP) with rollover mitigation, Hill Hold and Hill Descent control, alloy wheels, leather upholstery, etc. A W4 base variant was only added later and after the facelift in May 2015 with cosmetic tweaks, the range was expanded with W10 and W10 AWD and AMT variants for W8 and W10.
On the new facelift , however, Mahindra is expected to introduce a more powerful engine. It is reported to be achieved by tweaking the existing mill to produce 170 PS and 350-360 Nm of peak torque. Mahindra could be doing this because the Xylo replacement internally codenamed U321 may see the debut of a smaller capacity engine, with 130 bhp, developed in association with Korean subsidiary SsangYong.
As we believed, Mahindra would apply minor exterior and interior changes to the upcoming XUV500 but more features will added to spice up the entire range considering the competition from Toyota Innova Crysta, Tata Hexa, Renault Captur and compact segment leading Hyundai Creta SUV.
It won’t have big price difference as a hike of around Rs. 30,000 is expected across the grades. Mahindra is also working towards viable electric mobility solutions as an electric XUV Aero is rumoured to be on the cards and the styling of the production model may well be looked after by the legendary Italian design house Pininfarina.
Additionally, an electric vehicle that can do up to 300 km on a single charge seems to be in the pipeline as well. With Maruti Suzuki reported to launch a XUV500 rival by the end of this decade, the rivalry in the SUV segment is about to get boiled over in the coming years.
Mahindra will likely introduce the petrol variant of the XUV500 with the facelifted model. Back in October, the brand launched the W9 variant of its flagship SUV – as a response to new competition from Jeep compass – with several features from the top-spec trim like electric sunroof, seven-inch touchscreen, reversing camera with dynamic assist, Mahindra’s Ecosense technology, etc.
The upcoming G9 petrol model will have a 2.2-litre motor connected to a six-speed automatic gearbox. It is capable of churning out 140 hp of peak power and 320 Nm of torque and is based on the same block as the 2.2-litre mHawk. It will initially be offered in a single variant before expanding into new trims with manual gearbox.
As Mahindra has just introduced the facelifted Scorpio with minor cosmetic updates and sizeable power hike, we can expect the new XUV500 to reach shores sometime early next year. The spy shots are the first sign as we move closer to the market entry. We could see the new XUV debuting at the 2018 Delhi Auto Expo in February as well.
The Mumbai-based company has constantly been introducing new variants of existing models in recent months while KUV NXT arrived with substantial changes. Mahindra will bring in Innova Crysta rivaling MPV and SsangYong Tivoli based Creta competitor next year as well. Both will follow the debut of the long wheelbase version of the TUV300.
Spy Source: MotorVikatan