Mahindra World SUV (W201)


This has all the makings of a spy thriller. Top secret business plans, ambitions for global recognition, guarded executives, high speeds and a hot model under wraps. In other words, we got more dirt on Mahindra’s World SUV!

Codenamed W201, Mahindra & Mahindra has been working on its World SUV model for a while now. It is expected to be launched in this year and expected the World SUV to cost around the 14-16 lakh mark in the Indian market. So extensive has been the testing phase of the car, that anyone driving through Chennai or in any of the highways of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu should have spotted a heavily camouflaged W201.

The first obvious thing is that this is bigger than the Scorpio and Xylo. Both in terms of size, and hopes of Mahindra, which is planning an Americas and Europe launch of the vehicle. The SUV sports big design curves under the wrappings and large headlights next to Mahindra’s seven-slat grill. The side mirrors also have turn indicators embedded in them. Competing against the likes of the Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Captiva and the just-launched Tata Aria crossover, the W201 is Mahindra’s first global model developed on a monocoque platform, a first for M&M.

The rear of the Wold SUV reminds one of an MPV more than an SUV with almost no extension from the rear window backwards. This is probably why Mahindra has been testing a Toyota Innova alongside the W201. The tester has also been spotted with 17-inch alloys carrying it.

The stance looks muscular and the vehicle itself is large and might match the Chevy Captiva in terms of size – Mahindra has been testing the Captiva alongside the W201 too. Power is expected to come from Mahindra’s own 2.2L mHawk CRDi engine, possibly renamed m-Vulture for this specific variant producing about 145+ bhp connected to an all new six-speed manual gearbox. However, we expect a V6 engine for exports, to make it more competitive against foreign models.

A lucky member of who says he got to test drive the Mahindra W201 says it will come equipped with ABS, ESP (electronic stability program), traction control, and airbags for both driver and passenger as standard. But an automatic gearbox is also essential if the car is to make any mark in the United States. “The speedo and the Rev counter had a nice touch to them. Right in the centre of the speedo dial was the fuel gauge in digital form and the in the centre of the rev counter was the temp gauge again in digital form. The seats were wide and comfy compared to the Captiva . . .” is what he felt.

The new World SUV is being developed at M&M’s Chakan facility near Pune. “We are looking at significant share of the new SUV manufactured here to be exported into the U.S. market. We are planning to come out with the new SUV next year,” Pawan Goenka, president, automotive sector, Mahindra & Mahindra had said.