By 2026, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) looks to launch 23 new vehicles. Of these, nine will be SUVs. This strategy reflects the OEM’s new thrust for its automotive business to be a leading player again in its core area of SUVs.
In India's booming utility vehicle market, M&M currently has a 15% market share, behind Maruti Suzuki India (21%) and Hyundai Motor India (19%). It is followed by a hard-charging Kia India (14.74%).
The starting price for the XUV700 is Rs 11.99 lakh (MX petrol / manual, 5-seater), rising to Rs 12.49 lakh (MX diesel), Rs 13.99 lakh for the AX (Adrenox series, manual / petrol / 5-seater) and Rs 14.99 lakh for the top-end AX5 petrol variant. All these prices are ex-showroom India).
The UV segment, currently the strongest growth driver, accounting for over 30 percent of the passenger vehicle (PV) market in India, has been witnessing a lot of action from old and new OEMs. M&M has faced the heat and lost some ground, but with a fresh offensive, starting with the just unveiled XUV700, M&M’s MD Dr. Anish Shah says the OEM is “all set to lead the core SUV segment”. The new SUV will also mark the market entry of M&M’s new brand identity exclusive to its SUV portfolio.
“The XUV 700 marks the beginning of a whole new Mahindra,” says Rajesh Jejurikar, executive director, M&M, who was also a part of the team that launched the Scorpio in 2002. The model was responsible for giving brand Mahindra a successful entry into the urban SUV market.
Petrol and diesel power|
The XUV700, to be available in both petrol and diesel fuel options, has packed itself with a host of advanced technology features, with Google Alexa as a key highlight. A 10.25-inch “widest-in-segment” screen multi-information display is expected to woo the new-gen tech-savvy customers.
The petrol variant is equipped with a 200hp, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder mStallion turbo-charged petrol engine with 380 Nm of torque, while the diesel XUV 700 will be powered by a 4-cylinder 2.2 litre, 185hp unit with 420 Nm torque. The more powerful XUV 700 has a claimed ‘best-in-class’ 0-60kph acceleration time of 4.6 seconds. The SUV will offer 3 different, customisable driving modes. “The real breakthrough is it lets you to customise the drive modes,” says R Velusamy, Chief of global product development, Automotive Business, M&M during the unveiling of the XUV700.
“Technology, power, and intelligence” are being pitched as the key USPs of the XUV 700. Veejay Nakra, CEO of M&M’s Automotive business is betting on the XUV 700 to deliver the goods that M&M vehicles are known for, but this time around he is “excited” about the “fun in the SUV”experience with the more than 60 connected car technologies equipped XUV 700.
The inside story
When it comes to the XUV700’s interiors, Mahindra has gone in for with a clean and modern design. The dashboard is dominated by a dual 10.25-inch screen layout – one for the infotainment and the other for the instrument cluster – housed in a single, massive panel. The infotainment system uses the brand’s newly developed AdrenoX interface with in-built Amazon Alexa virtual assistant for carrying out a variety of voice commands.
The XUV700 also gets a host of other features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, wireless charger, panoramic sunroof, auto booster headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery and dashboard inserts, an electronic parking brake, and a custom-built 12 speaker setup – including a subwoofer – with 3D surround sound that has been designed by Sony.
High on safety
Another area where Mahindra has gone all out with the XUV700 is the safety tech on offer, and the biggest talking point here is the ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems). It includes Forward Collision Warning (FCW) – which warns you of a possible collision and if you don’t react, it uses Autonomous Emergency Brakes (AEB) to stop the car. Other features include lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, smart pilot assist, traffic sign recognition and driver drowsiness detection.
In addition, the XUV700 also comes with seven airbags, ABS with EBD, customisable voice alerts for speeding, and seatbelts with lap and retractor pre-tensioners for front seats.
M&M has put great efforts in putting together a modern SUV. Now, it is up to the marketplace to give its verdict. It is learnt that the OEM is looking at an average monthly sales of around 2,500 units or so for the XUV700.
(With inputs from Autocar India)
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