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Mahindra Gio compact truck is a go!

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Mahindra has launched its Gio commercial vehicle here today. Calling it "India's first compact truck", the Gio is priced at Rs 1.65 lakh, slotting in between the more expensive Tata Ace at nearly Rs 2.78 lakh and the ubiquitious three-wheeler, priced at Rs 1.38 lakh.

Billing it as a middle-step, the Mahindra Gio has been developed at a cost of Rs 25 crore. It uses a single-cylinder, 441cc, diesel engine that produces 9.1 bhp and 2.2 kgm of peak torque. The engine is developed by Kohler and is made at Kohler's facilities in India, while the transmission is a 4-speed manual, a Mahindra development.

The Gio has a payload of 0.5 tonne, with a GVW of a little over 1.1 tonne. Unlike other mini-trucks, it uses front independent suspension rather than leaf springs.

The Gio will be sold in two phases. The first phase will involve the North, East and Western parts of India and the vehicle will be available right away. The second phase will see the vehicle being launched in the south, which should happen by January 2010. Mahindra will retail the vehicle through 500 points and 150 dealerships.