This may just be Mahindra's biggest break into the high-volume hatchback segment with a product that isn't exactly one. The mini-Xylo, Mahindra's attempt at a sub 4-metre MPV is looking to carve a niche for itself and helping bring in volumes for India's largest utility vehicle manufacturer as it takes its biggest shot in the volume league to date.
The Quanto, as it will be called will arrive in the second half of September as we did inform you just weeks ago. What you also see here are the very first pictures of the Quanto, courtesy our good friends at Team-BHP, caught unmasked and with the branding clearly on display. Deriving its name from the word 'Quantum' the photos clearly depict Mahindra's reluctance to make the Quanto look identical to its bigger brother, the Xylo that went through an update just months ago by retaining the nose treatment of the original Xylo that was launched back in January 2009.
With its nose identical to the original Xylo and a new tail light structure, the Quanto will find its spare wheel located on the tailgate to add to the appeal of the vehicle, giving it a sort of pseudo-SUV stance. The wheelbase being identical, the Quanto will still have the same levels of space as the Xylo.
Based on the U or Ingenio platform, the Quanto is a shortened version of the Xylo and measure in at 3995 mm. While it continues to be primarily a five-seater, it benefits from the addition of two jump seats at the rear, an observation we had made more than a year ago. The jump seats effectively make it a seven seater thus striking at the value-conscious buyer in the sub-Rs 7 lakh bracket. On the inside, the Quanto retains the same seating layout of the first two rows and an identical dashboard. In fact the top-end Quanto would get nearly the same set of features as the more premium versions of the Xylo, thus continuing to reinforce the value card.
Under the hood is a twin-turbocharged/twin-scroll turbocharged, 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder diesel engine that finds its roots in the larger 2.2-litre mHawk. The smallest of its kind in the country, if not the world, this new engine boasts of an all-aluminium construction, is BS V ready and according to some, can also be made BS-VI compliant with a few tweaks. The engine uses a double-overhead camshaft setup with a Bosch-developed common-rail that is built to a cost.
What's impressive is that the engine weighs just 185 kg, some 65 kg less than the mDiCRDe block that powers the Xylo D2. The power ratings are quite good - 100 bhp@3750 rpm and nearly 24.3 kgm of peak torque from 1600 rpm to 2800 rpm. Mated to a five-speed manual, it makes it more powerful than some of its competition, including the 85 bhp version of the 1461cc powered Renault Duster and the Premier Rio Multijet that produces 72 bhp. The motor itself is slightly more squarer than the 2.5 mDiCRDe and on paper it seems quite torquey, given the 2.5 produces just 22.2 kgm. How Mahindra have improved NVH is not known considering it's a three-cylinder motor.
Mahindra will price the Quanto to take on the premium B-segment hatches and that could mean a base price that starts under Rs 6 lakh and going all the way up to over Rs 7 lakh. The price may seem a bit on the higher side but given the twin-turbocharged engine and all those features, a creep up in the pecking order was expected. It has the potential to be another winner from the house of Mahindra, though the marketplace would be the perfect judge of the final outcome.