Sydney: Indian automobile and tractor manufacturer, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. – a part of the USD 15.4 billion Mahindra Group, has moved into the world of aspirational sports utility vehicles (SUVs) with the launch of its international contender, the Mahindra XUV500 (pronounced XUV five-double ‘o’).
The company’s first global platform, the Mahindra XUV500 was launched late last year in India with a simultaneous unveiling in South Africa. It has received much acclaim since then with bookings selling out within days of the launch, leading to an increase in production. The Mahindra XUV500 has also received over 20 awards from the automotive fraternity in India, clear testimony to this global SUV’s appeal.
The Mahindra XUV500 is very attractively priced for the Australian market, particularly considering the very comprehensive list of standard equipment
“The Mahindra XUV500 is a world class SUV offering an unbeatable combination of aspirational styling, advanced technology and safety features, comfort and convenience. For us, it embodies our corporate philosophy of ‘Rise’ as the team deployed alternative thinking to deliver outstanding technology and performance, ensuring great value. Customers in India and South Africa have greatly appreciated its strengths and I’m sure that it will prove a worthy contender and find favour in the Australian market as well,” said Ruzbeh Irani, Chief Executive - International Operations (Automobile and Farm Sectors), Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd and Member of Board of Directors of Mahindra Automotive Australia.
The Mahindra XUV500 is the first global SUV from the Mahindra stable that has been completely designed and developed around the global customer, with extensive product validation and testing done across Europe, Australia, South Africa and India.
Mahindra’s latest contender in the highly competitive international SUV market has been likened to an African cheetah in terms of both its appearance and performance. The Mahindra XUV500 is seen as having a body styling line ‘inspired by a pouncing cheetah’ as well as its physics-defying agility, along with a ‘cheetah-inspired jaw-like grille’ and vertical ‘paw-styled door handles.’
The XUV500 offers front wheel drive and all wheel drive derivatives all powered by a transversely-mounted four-cylinder, 2,2-litre mHawk turbo diesel engine which develops 103kW of power at 3 750r/min and 330N.m of torque between 1 600 – 2 800r/min.
The turbo diesel offers an impressive driveability thanks to a flat torque curve at low RPM. This also helps in giving the XUV500 a towing capability of 750 kilos for an un-braked trailer and 2500 kilos for a braked trailer.
Transmission is a six-speed manual, with a low ratio transfer box for the all-wheel drive model. The all-wheel drive system on the W8 4x4 model has an interactive torque management system which switches seamlessly from two-to four-wheel drive.
It is a spacious seven-seater SUV of monocoque construction with an up-to-date mechanical specification and a high level of standard equipment. This stylish SUV is available in a range of five exterior body colours.
The XUV500 is built on a unique platform. Suspension is independent on all four-wheels, with minimal body roll when cornering hard. Steering is by power-assisted rack-and pinion, with a kerb-to-kerb turning circle of 11.2 m. Braking is by four wheel discs with anti-skid ABS, electronic brake distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist. Wheels are 17 inch diameter alloys fitted with P235/65R tyres.
Driver aids include automatic hill descent and hill hold, while all three models have cruise control, Intellipark front and rear park assist, light-sensing headlamps and rain-sensing windscreen wipers.
Safety features include electronic stability control (ESP) with a rollover mitigating sensor, airbags and crumple zones in the safety cell body. The xenon swivelling, projector-type headlamps are another important safety feature, as is the Tyretronics system which monitors tyre pressure and temperature. Front fog lamps are standard on all three models.
The spacious interior offers not only plush comfort with two-tone leather upholsetry but also a very high level of standard equipment.
Convenience items include dual-zone climate control, as well as power windows and remote central locking. The exterior rear view mirrors are electronically adjustable and can be folded flat when driving in a confined space.
Infotainment is right up to date. It includes an FM radio/CD player with a shuttle which is controlled from a centrally-mounted 15 cm touch screen with a navigation system as well as MP3, USB, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity. There are also six speakers with built-in tweeters.
The Mahindra XUV500 has convenient steering wheel-mounted controls for the cruise and audio controls and the system includes the use of voice commands.
The integrated driver information system reports on vital information such as fuel tank range and tyre-monitoring. The Intellipark reverse park assist uses the LCD screen to indicate the distance between the rear bumper and an obstacle behind the vehicle. There are several storage units, including sufficient room for a laptop in the glovebox and a cool box in the central console.
The Mahindra XUV500 is built at Mahindra’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the region of Chakan, near the city of Pune, in India. This new plant was built on a greenfield site in a Special Economic Zone. This region is one of India’s largest automotive hubs. Besides the Mahindra plant, this area hosts facilities operated by General Motors, Volkswagen, Skoda, Daimler, Land Rover, Fiat and Tata, amongst other auto manufacturers. These operations are supported by a growing number of component suppliers and service providers who have set up operations in the area.
Besides this plant in Chakan, Mahindra operates an engine plant and four other vehicle assembly facilities at other locations in India.