4-door Mahindra e2o spotted testing in Bengaluru

It's a good time to be an environment-friendly automobile in India. With the WHO reporting that Indian cities are amongst the most polluted globally, Indian Government's proposal to directly move to Bharat Stage-VI (equivalent to Euro-6) from the present Bharat Stage-IV (Euro-4) and the knee-jerk reaction in Delhi resulting in the ban of diesel cars above 2000 cc and the odd-even traffic policy, there just wasn't a better time for cars like the Mahindra e2o to present their case to potential customers.

Sadly, the e2o hardly sells in the Indian market and its easy to understand why. It is such an impractical choice as a first or even a second car in a typical Indian family. It is diminutive, has just two doors, comes with a tough-to-access rear seats and has a limited range. While the range factor can be compromised by urban customers, the other tough choices remain. Despite being designed and developed in India and the only electric car officially on sale here, the Mahindra e2o just isn't a car for our market.

All that could be history shortly! It appears Mahindra has realized its folly and is working on getting them corrected.

Spotted testing in Bengaluru last evening, this car with 'test' registration plates appears to be the 4-door variant of the Mahindra e2o. When we received these pics from a regular reader of Anything On Wheels who hails from the Garden City, we were a bit puzzled trying to identify the car. Of course, the exhaust pipe isn't there but it could be hidden well underneath the vehicle! But one look at its silhouette cleared all the doubts we had.

The very short hood and the headlight that peeps out of a hole in the camouflage clearly resemble the ones in the current 2-door e2o. Further proving us right were the circular air-conditioner vent and a tinge of blue where the instrument cluster belongs, two things that the e2o currently has. Because of its short hood, the wheelbase of this 4-door variant appears stretched and that should liberate decent legroom at the rear along with an easier access to the rear seat. The tipped forward stance is carried over from the current e2o too and the test car appears too tall for its width. We would reserve our comments until Mahindra unveils the car though as the camouflage could play spoilsport with our eyes. The car was said to be doing decent speeds of above 60 km/h when these pictures were shot.

The current e2o is on sale in limited cities in India including Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Chandigarh. Powered by a 19 kW electric motor that produces 53.9 Nm of torque, the 2-door e2o has a range of 120 km per charge and a top speed of around 80 km/h. It's quite tech-laden for its size but its high retail price is the single biggest deterrent preventing people from patronizing this car. When the 4-door e2o is launched, we expect Mahindra to give the car a bigger capacity motor with more power, torque, range and top speed.

Though it isn't clear if Mahindra will launch the 4-door e2o in India or just reserve it for exports, launching it in India would be the logical choice. In fact, with Mahindra being one of the brands most affected by the ban on diesel cars above 2000 cc in Delhi, we expect them to fast-track the development of the 4-door e2o to try and compensate the loss in revenue and volumes. Come on Mahindra, bring us a proper 4-door e2o with improved range, mature road manners and less quirky styling and see it sell better, much better!

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