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Delhi show: Mahindra set to make show splash

Aero show: Mahindra released this sketch of its upcoming XUV Aero “coupe” concept that will lead the charge at this year’s Delhi Auto Expo.

Mahindra to ramp up SUV style with 'coupe' concept and – maybe – new compact wagon


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27 Jan 2016

MAHINDRA appears to be planning a flurry of SUV surprises at the Delhi motor show on February 3.

So far, India’s biggest auto-maker has confirmed only one, in the form of a teaser sketch of a Euro-style SUV “coupe” concept, the XUV Aero, that it will reveal in the metal at the biennial show.

The five-door liftback – with flamboyant styling seemingly inspired by BMW’s X6 – presumably is based on Mahindra’s mid-sized XUV500 wagon and perhaps foreshadows a new Mahindra flagship.

The vehicle is said to have been designed in-house by Mahindra, even though the company bought legendary Italian design house Pinifarina in December.

GoAuto understands that a new compact SUV might also make its debut at the show in the Mahindra line-up of 20 vehicles on its stand, igniting interest not only in India but also export markets such as Australia.

The vehicle is likely to be bigger and more sophisticated than the sub-four-metre Mahindra KUV100 and Quanto SUVs currently on offer in India, and thus a contender for western markets where small SUVs are flying out of showrooms.

Mahindra Automotive Australia (MAA) public relations and marketing manager James Halliwell told GoAuto that he was planning to be at the show to see the latest offerings from Mahindra.

“I will know more after that,” he said.

Mr Halliwell hinted that the local Mahindra branch had set its sights on a potential compact SUV for this market, but he did not disclose likely timing or other details.

In India, the government offers tax breaks for vehicles under four metres long, but such vehicles are regarded as a size too small for Australia.

If Mahindra develops a larger vehicle to compete with the likes of the Holden Trax, Ford EcoSport, Suzuki Jimny and Mitsubishi ASX, logic says it will be designed and engineered with export markets in mind.

Chances are high that such a vehicle will be revealed at the Delhi show, which is Mahindra’s big chance to make a splash on its domestic market.

According to the Indian press, Mahindra is also preparing to show an updated Quanto domestic SUV and a wireless-charged version of its E20 electric city car.

Meanwhile, MAA is receiving shipments of two updated models in Australia – the facelifted XUV500 SUV and refreshed Genio ute.

New XU500 stock is already coming into the country in manual gearbox form, with the new six-speed automatic to follow in May.

Full details of specification and pricing for both models are expected to be revealed in February, but expect the XUV500 to stick with its 2.2-litre, 103kW/330Nm diesel engine and choice of two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive powertrains.

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