Mahindra’s upcoming compact SUV codenamed S101 has crashed in the Nilgiri hills while testing. The car being a Mahindra isn’t likely to be dynamically sound. It has a high ground clearance and thus high centre of gravity. This means that the body roll on the S101 would be relatively higher. When the vehicle is pushed hard around corners or when sudden manoeuvres are exerted, the compact SUV tends to roll over causing disasters. This behaviour is a common scenario with high stance vehicles but cars like the Renault Duster and Ford EcoSport don’t exhibit such poor dynamics.
Mahindra’s S101 is expected to measure under 4-metres in length giving it tax benefits. The vehicle will compete against B-segment hatchbacks making it the cheapest SUV offering from the automaker. The test mule encountered a roll over crash while taking an enthusiastic curve in the pristine hills. However, the damages seem to be minimal on this test mule which was camouflaged. The car is expected to be named as the XUV3OO. Coincidently, the XUV5OO test mule had also suffered a crash prior to the launch.
The Mahindra S101 compact SUV will be a 6-seater vehicle with a 3+3 layout. The heart of this entry-level Mahindra UV will be the 1.5-litre twin-turbo charged diesel motor borrowed from the Quanto. Another 1.2-litre petrol engine being developed in collaboration with SsangYong could debut with the S101. The car is expected to be showcased at the upcoming Auto Expo in concept guise. However the S101 will not go on sale anytime before 2015.
The Mahindra S101 compact SUV will be a value for money offering with its pricing and performance levels in line with its big brother, the XUV5OO. This compact SUV will also be pitted against the current top sellers, the Renault Duster and the Ford EcoSport. Prices are expected to start from Rs. 5 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi). The SUV segment is growing at an enormous rate in Asia and Mahindra hopes to capitalise on the same with this new product codenamed S101 (there is an S102 planned as well).
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