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Future models - Mahindra - XUV500

Mahindra SUV here in April

On the march: The Mahindra XUV500 seven-seater will launch here in April from circa-$25k.

First Mahindra SUV in Australia to target Great Wall and other sub-$25K wagons

Mahindra logo10 Jan 2012

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

INDIAN car-maker Mahindra is poised to release its first SUV in Australia, with the launch of its XUV500 scheduled for April.

The five-door, seven-seater wagon is expected to kick off from under $25,000, pitching it directly against the Great Wall X240 petrol and X200 diesel in the low end of the mid-sized SUV market.

It will be available in both rear-wheel and four-wheel drive, with the latter boasting a low-ratio transfer box as well as an interactive torque management system that switches automatically from two-to four-wheel drive.

The XUV500 is powered by a variation of the 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine released last year in the Pik-Up utility.

Delivering 103kW of power at 3750rpm and 330Nm of torque from 1600rpm to 2800rpm, the XUV500 is capable of achieving 6.6 litres per 100km with the aid of stop/start technology.

While a six-speed manual gearbox will be the only gearbox choice initially, a six-speed automatic is believed to be in the pipeline, courtesy of Australia’s Drive Systems International of Albury.

46 center imageThis same transmission is also fitted to the Kyron from Korean car-maker SsangYong, which is now a subsidiary of Mahindra.

Tipping the scales at 2450kg, the XUV500 is Mahindra’s first ‘unibody’ or ‘monocoque’ design, previous vehicles from the company having separate ladder-frame chassis.

The SUV features MacPherson strut front suspension, a multi-link rear suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, electronic stability control with rollover mitigation, front, side and curtain airbags, tyre pressure monitors and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution.

Other features available in Australia will include touchscreen satellite navigation, a DVD player, MP3, USB, Bluetooth and iPod compatibility, automatic dual-zone air-conditioning, voice control, LED lights, a hill-hold function, hill-descent control, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and wipers, cruise control and remote tailgate release.

A Mahindra spokesman described the XUV500 (pronounced ‘five double-oh’) as “completely designed and developed around the global customer”, adding that it underwent extensive product validation and testing in India, Australia, Europe and South Africa, which was the first export market for the model.

The XUV500 is built on the outskirts of Pune in the state of Maharastra, initially at the rate of 2000 units a month, with volume ramping up as demand dictates.

Mahindra has 25 dealers in Australia, backed by Mahindra Automotive Australia, a joint venture formed between the Indian car-maker and TMI Pacific, a division of major Sydney-based dealer body Tynan Motor Group

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