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Mahindra updates XUV500

Braking new ground: The XUV500 W10 is the first vehicle that Mahindra has offered with regenerative braking, which was developed in its Formula E racer.

Facelifted and kit-boosted Mahindra XUV500 arriving Q4 2015, auto to follow

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Mahindra logo28 May 2015

MAHINDRA has unveiled a revamped look for its globally focused XUV500 SUV, and its enhanced equipment levels and improved ride will accompany the 2015 version to Australia later this year.

In addition to the refreshed look and topped-up tech, the company is breaking new ground with mild hybrid technology, which is derived from its involvement in the FIA Formula E electric car racing series.

Its regenerative braking system claims back kinetic energy that would normally be wasted under braking, using it to charge the vehicle battery instead, and is the first time Mahindra has employed such technology to a road car.

The re-gen system and a majority of the tech updates are confined to the higher specification W10 XUV500, but for the time being only the more affordable W8 has been confirmed for Australia.

Another significant update to the Indian-built SUV will be a six-speed automatic transmission, which is due to arrive in the first half of next year. To date the XUV500 has exclusively been sold as a manual.

Mahindra Automotive Australia public relations and marketing manager James Halliwell told GoAuto the XUV500 had been well received locally, and the updated version would “definitely” increase interest.

“We've just launched, from April, a national (marketing) program... which has really helped us with inquiries at dealerships and we've seen a steady increase in sales,” he said.

“We're pretty bullish about the new car, particularly with the automatic arriving in Q2 2016.” The styling changes bring redesigned front and rear bumpers housing an updated grille, chrome-surrounded fog-lights and “bending” projector headlights, while the body changes continue with a new more “muscular” bonnet and wheel arches that house new 17-inch alloy wheels.

Mahindra says the most significant changes are on the inside, with a major cabin redesign, a larger 7.0-inch screen with navigation replacing the 6.1-inch version, enhanced connectivity with Bluetooth, USB, iPod and auxiliary inputs.

All versions also get voice control, tyre pressure monitoring, automatic headlights and wipers, Icy Blue Theme interior highlight features with matching lounge lighting, cruise control and folding door mirrors.

Exact specification is yet to be finalised for Australian cars, but the Indian car-maker said the black leather interior is the most likely candidate to come Down Under.

If it is confirmed for Australia, the W10 option will offer a step up in equipment with an electric sunroof, keyless entry and start, electrically adjustable driver's seat and door mirrors that project the Mahindra logo on the floor to welcome passengers.

Under its refreshed bonnet, it is business as usual for the XUV500, with the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel kicking out 103kW and 330Nm of torque, but thanks to the regenerative system and idle-stop, W10 versions can use as little as 6.3 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres.

Revisions to the MacPherson front suspension and multi-link rear set up have resulted in an improved ride and a more rewarding drive, says Mahindra.

Safety features are also unchanged with six airbags including curtain versions as standard, and ESC, hill hold, hill descent, ABS with EBD and disc brakes all round across the board.

Like the current version, the XUV500 will be offered with either two wheel-drive, or a more all-terrain focused all-wheel drive option.

Pricing is expected closer to a launch date, but a great deviation from the current $29,990 driveaway price is not expected. AWD versions sell for $32,990 driveaway.

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