Mahindra XUV500 during the course of pre-launch testing in 2009 was popularly known as ‘Global SUV’ or ‘World SUV’ (codenamed W201) test-mule banged into TVS-50 at very high speed on the outskirts of Chennai, the driver was pulled-out and beaten-up by locals, before police arrived. At the time the engineers at Mahindra were really testing the suspension and powertrain beneath the bluffing body panels, and the prototype had ill-fitted body panels from its siblings and heavily camouflaged. Now 4 years after the incident, Mahindra’s upcoming compact SUV, codenamed S101, has suffered a crash while on-test, in Nilgiri Hills (Tamil Nadu). Strange coincidence, isn’t it?
According to eye witnesses, the incident happened while the driver was trying to overtake another vehicle in a curve. Then a bus came the opposite way and he has to avoid the crash, he tried to steer and brake the S101. Unluckily, he couldn’t manage anything. Then the test mule lost control and rolled over. A sign board on the road side saved the vehicle from further rolling over and going to the deep valley. Luckily everyone inside the test mule was not injured and the vehicle may also then be rescued safely to its destination. The rollover resulted in some vehicle damage, a crowd of curious onlookers, and these photographs. We already reported about some incidents happened with Ecosport rolling over. May be this is one-off incident but the engineers need to make the S101 handling and braking better.
Mahindra S101 SUV is in its early days of testing and the production model is expected to be launched by end-2015 or early-2016. The S101 compact SUV will measure sub-4-metre in length, but Mahindra hasn’t yet finalized the design of the S101, thus, the engineers at backend didn’t add flesh onto the body and is still bare-basic form. From the crash pictures, we can view the upcoming S101 compact SUV in great detail, but of no use they aren’t any of the production specific versions. The new Mahindra SUV is expected to have high ground clearance, along with seating capacity for six adults in a 3+3 layout (including driver). The S101 compact SUV is likely to be Mahindra’s least priced SUV offering what with the automaker said to looking at positioning the S101 at price levels at a price that will rival B-segment hatchbacks.
The S101 compact SUV is likely to be available in both petrol and diesel variants. The diesel variant is expected to be powered by a 1.5-litre twin turbo diesel engine borrowed from the Quanto with some tweeks for higher torque and power. While the petrol will be powered by 1.2-litre petrol engine developed for this SUV with the help of Ssangyong Motors. The power for both engines will be transmitted to the front wheels. After the launch of S101 compact SUV, Mahindra will be launching Ssangyong’s version of S101 (codenamed S102) under Ssangyong badging with the minor cosmetic differences. The upcoming S101 is rumored to be called as the ‘Mahindra XUV300’, as it will share a lot of features from the XUV 500 and might even feature plenty of design cues borrowed its flagship model.
We think Mahindra use Ooty hill station to test their cars in cold weather & test the handling characteristics of its vehicles, as the road consists of several consecutive sharp hair-pin bends. On my visit to Ooty in 2011, I spotted the test-mule’s of Mahindra mini Xylo (now Quanto) & Mahindra W201 (now XUV500) testing on-roads at very high speed.
Check out more crashed pictures, after a jump.
See more pictures of Mahindra S101 Compact SUV & World SUV crashed during testing –