Mahindra & Mahindra today announced the official name for their world SUV, previously known by the codename W201 – the vehicle is going to be called the XUV500 (pronounced ‘XUV 5-double-oh’). There has been a lot of buzz around the car ever since the concept was announced, and M&M shared a few details about the project at a press conference held earlier today.
The XUV500 will be slotted in the gap between the Scorpio and other high-end SUVs available today, such as the Toyota Fortuner, Skoda Yeti and Tata Aria. M&M are the market leaders in the Indian SUV game, and they plan to create a whole new segment with XUV500, with pricing expected to be in the Rs 14-17 lakh range. The XUV will be launched in India and South Africa at the end of the calendar year, in both 2-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions, and will feature monocoque construction and a transversely-mounted engine. The engine itself will be based on M&M’s current mHawk engine technology, and is unlikely to be a brand new unit. The car has been designed and developed in-house, with inputs, based on consumer research, from across the globe; it will be exported world-wide as well, with the export versions being essentially identical to the domestic versions – the differences will depend on different market requirements.
The XUV500 will be manufactured at M&M’s Chakan plant in Pune, with a new production line being set up for it, and M&M say that their production targets will be in the thousands rather than the hundreds, indicating that they do not intend for the XUV500 to be a niche product.