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Mahindra Scorpio to gain AEB

Although not available at launch, the Scorpio will get AEB in the near future

23 Apr 2023

MAHINDRA Automotive’s all-new medium/large body-on-frame Scorpio SUV – priced from $41,990–$44,990 drive-away – has launched in Australia and New Zealand without autonomous emergency braking (AEB) or lane-keeping assistance but will be upgraded to incorporate these active-safety features prior to their legislated mandatory fitment in Australia from February 2025.


Speaking to Australian automotive media at the Scorpio launch, Mahindra vice president head of international operations, Joydeep Moitra, would not put a timeframe on exactly when these active-safety systems will be added, but hinted that a future model-year update would be the most likely way to introduce them. 


“We will start off with what we have and (AEB and lane-keep assist) will be added as part of the product lifecycle,” said Mr Moitra, noting that the Scorpio would not be subjected to ANCAP crash testing, or anything beyond the relatively lenient Global NCAP version (which has awarded the vehicle five stars) until the export-market Scorpio was equipped with these active-safety features.


“I don’t want to comment on the timeframe today but clearly it is part of our cycle plan. And obviously the (Scorpio) is a product on which we want to build our brand. It’s very, very dear to our hearts and (the AEB upgrade) will be done quickly, (but) it takes time.


“The reason I’m not commenting on (the timeframe) is because even after [having those active-safety features fitted] it will need Australian testing, Australia registration, homologation etcetera. That’s why I’m not getting very specific. But it is part of my [product] cycle,” he said.


While the just-launched Scorpio offers electronic stability control (ESC) and curtain airbags (that only cover half of the third-row side window, rather than all the rear glass), it also lacks adaptive cruise control – at least until AEB is fitted.


In comparison, the forthcoming monocoque-bodied Mahindra XUV700 medium SUV – due to arrive in Australia in June – is already available with AEB, forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, traffic-sign recognition and adaptive cruise control.


As for seating capacity, the top-spec Scorpio Z8 and Z8L currently sold in Australia are only offered in six-seat form with second row ‘captain’s chairs’, each with the vehicle’s sole Isofix/top-tether child-seat mounting points. The Scorpio’s third row cannot accommodate child seats.


This is because the centre-row bench seat offered in India only features a centre lap seatbelt – not the lap/sash type required to meet Australian safety standards – which means a seven-seat Scorpio can’t be homologated for our market … yet.


Mahindra Automotive Australia’s marketing manager James Halliwell confirmed that “seven-seat will be a future facelift” for Scorpio, meaning it could be tied in with the car’s imminent AEB upgrade, though no timeframe has been announced.


According to the brand’s market research, however, it is more likely that buyers of the body-on-frame Scorpio would have less need for child-seat anchorage points than those interested in the forthcoming monocoque XUV700 medium SUV.


Mahindra Automotive Australia’s national manager Ankit Taneja said that they expect most Scorpio buyers to be “40-plus, predominantly male, in urban as well as semi-urban centres – obviously with a family … (though) with slightly older kids.”


For the XUV700, Mahindra expects a significant shift towards metro markets, with “a younger, more urban, female-centric demographic.”

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