Upcoming Mahindra SUVs (S101 & U301) seen testing together in Chennai

Mahindra is in a state of bother right now. From being in a strong third position only behind Maruti-Suzuki and Hyundai, the Indian brand is now jostling for space with Honda while Toyota isn't far behind either. The cause of this slide is clear for all of us to see. Mahindra has more duds than hits in its lineup. The Bolero, Scorpio and XUV 500 might be going as strong as ever but the Xylo, Quanto, Verito ad Verito Vibe are occupying precious showroom space yielding nothing.

All that could change once the two new models in pipeline goes on sale later this year. We have caught both these models testing in and around Chennai separately but, for the first time ever, both were caught testing together last evening. As evident from the spy-shots, both the upcoming models are Sports Utility Vehicles to quench the evergrowing thirst of SUV-loving Indian populace. 

The smaller of these two, codenamed S101, is a compact SUV that would slot in at the bottom of Mahindra's UV lineup. Measuring under four meters in length and with Mahindra said to be developing petrol and diesel engines under 1.2 and 1.5 liters respectively, this SUV should qualify for the excise duty concessions offered by the Indian government. As with other Mahindra SUVs, aggressive styling elements and a butch stance lie hidden under the thick camouflage. When launched, the S101 will lock horns with the only other grounds-up compact SUV in the market, the Ford Ecosport.

Codenamed U301, the other, relatively-bigger SUV is touted to be the successor for the hugely-successful Bolero. Expected to get a long-overdue makeover inside and out along with a planted stance and plusher Scorpio-based underpinnings, the Bolero will finally come of age against its modern competitors. Two variants of the U301 are said to be under development, one of them under four meters in length to take advantage of excise duty concessions. Known for its robust build and abuse-friendly mechanicals in its current avatar, these additions are only going to make Mahindra's best-seller even stronger.

Mahindra has been testing these two SUVs extensively in public roads for more than a year now and the launch shouldn't be far away. If Mahindra gets the design and pricing of these models right, the future is looking really bright for them.

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