Mahindra will foray into the compact SUV segment with its new baby SUV that will rival the Ford EcoSport and the likes. Codenamed S101, the compact SUV was spotted recently testing near the company’s R&D centre in Chennai. With production parts slowly taking shape on the S101, the new spy shots from Motor Vikatan reveal new details about the SUV and it could be called the XUV300, if rumours are true. Apart from the exteriors, the major reveal comes with the interior spy shots revealing a dashboard mounted gear lever.
A dash mounted gear lever results in improved legroom and wider seats. There could also be a possibility for a bench type seating that made a comeback on the Datsun GO. The new spy shots also revealed a new 3-spoke steering wheel unit, which looks more premium and takes inspiration from the XUV500. On the outside, as the production parts are finally being bolted onto the SUV, the S101 gets LED headlights and an XUV500 inspired front fascia. The rear will feature tail gate mounted spare wheel to maximise luggage space. The compact SUV will be Mahindra’s second vehicle to feature a monocoque chassis
The source also spoke about the engine option on the test mule, which was possibly the new 1.2-litre 3-cylinder petrol unit that has been newly developed by Mahindra and SsangYong and will cater to lower excise duty as per small car norms. The 1.5-litre diesel mill from the Quanto will also make an appearance on the S101 Compact SUV. Transmission options are more likely to be a 5-speed manual as well as an AMT unit that will debut on the Quanto. Mahindra is most likely to launch the new S101 by next year and it will be manufactured at Mahindra’s new Cheyyar plant in Tamil Nadu.