Mahindra Scorpio Facelift caught testing near Chennai

The Scorpio has been a massive success for Mahindra and is, in fact, the coming-of-age model of the Indian utility-vehicle manufacturer. Until the Scorpio came along in 2002, Mahindra’s rise to fame has been the licensed old-school Jeeps they had been building for ages. Pitted against the then-popular midsize sedans like the Honda City, Mitsubishi Lancer, Hyundai Accent and Ford Ikon, the Scorpio was able to successfully prove its credentials and soon became the largest-selling Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) in India, handsomely outselling the Tata Safari. Once it reached the top, the Scorpio stayed there for a full decade before finally losing out to newer crossovers like the Renault Duster and Ford Ecosport.

Unlike the Duster and Ecosport that are car-based crossovers, the Scorpio is a true-blue, body-on-frame SUV that can deal with rock and sand as well as it does on our highways. But the reality is that a significant chunk of people are cross-shopping between these models, thus affecting Scorpio's prospects. With the Nissan Terrano starting on a high note and competition from Maruti-Suzuki, Hyundai and Honda looming large, the Scorpio’s position is now under threat.

Though Mahindra is said to be working on the next-generation Scorpio for quite some time now, it is not expected to be launched until 2015 atleast. To plug the gap, Mahindra is now working on a facelift that will keep the Scorpio fresh and up to date until the new model takes over. This test vehicle, spotted in the outskirts of Chennai in a location that’s not far off from Mahindra’s R&D Center, proves that work on the Scorpio facelift is progressing at a brisk pace.

Going by the swirl camouflage on the test car, it looks like the front end is going for a substantial makeover. That means the radiator grille, headlights and the bumper are in for a change. The rest of the body sees minimal changes, with the tailgate, front fenders and the alloy wheels being the only parts that seem to be getting a nip and tuck. The interiors were partially masked too, making us believe that the face-lifted Scorpio will sport better interiors than the current model. No mechanical changes are expected in the Scorpio facelift and that includes the engine and transmission options too. The 2.2-liter mHawk diesel engine that powers all but the base variant and the 2.5-liter m2DICR engine that does duty only in the base EX variant are expected to be carried over to the facelift as well.

Despite the advent of newer and fresher SUVs and wannabe SUVs in the market, the Scorpio is still going great and is nary showing a hint of restrain when it comes to sales figures. This facelift is only going to help Mahindra sustain the momentum and keep the interest in the model ticking until its successor comes along.

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