Mahindra's upcoming Compact SUV seen testing near Chennai

The folks at Mahindra seem to be having their hands full at the moment. The refreshed XUV5OO out on the streets is only a few months old while the TUV3OO Plus was officially launched just earlier this week. In addition, two all-new models - a Tata Hexa-rivaling Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) code-named U321 and a compact Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) code-named S201 that could rival the Vitara Brezza at one end and the Creta at the other - are on their way as well. 

With Mahindra's R&D Center located on the outskirts of Chennai, test mules of these models are a frequent sight in and around the city. While our prying eyes caught the upcoming MPV (U321) last time around, it's the soon-to-be-launched compact SUV (S201) that was caught testing today. Sent in this morning by an Anything-On-Wheels reader, these spy-shots reveal a bit more than what we know and has been seen so far.

Ever since Mahindra acquired Ssangyong, the Indian car-maker has been trying to utilize the South Korean brand's lineup of Utility Vehicles by adapting them to Indian tastes and conditions. The Tivoli, Ssangyong's smallest SUV, is one such vehicle that's being readied for launch in our country. 

Despite being based on the Tivoli, Mahindra's compact SUV appears to be getting its own distinct design elements inspired by the brand's current flagship, the XUV5OO. Up front, the chrome-embezzled grille that many liked on the XUV5OO, is seen flanked on either sides by smart projector headlights. The profile, understandably, resembles the Tivoli with the upward-sloping windows, the sloping roof line and the thick C-pillar giving the vehicle an aggressive stance. At the rear, this little Mahindra gets split-taillight clusters that are similar in shape and size to those in the XUV5OO. Unlike the Tivoli, Mahindra has moved the license plate holder to the tailgate in this model. The alloy wheels in this particular test mule are painted black and look sporty.

The interiors are expected to borrow heavily from the Tivoli, so expect the design, build quality, fit and finish to be better than what Mahindra has been churning out all these days. Given the current market trend, we're sure this would be feature-loaded too.

Mahindra is said to be developing all-new powertrains for this new compact SUV. A petrol and a diesel engine are being developed, both with displacements of 1.5 liters, if our sources are to be believed. Wait for more details to come up as we inch closer towards the vehicle's launch date.

Speculations are rife that Mahindra might give this compact SUV a XUV3OO moniker. That sounds good, doesn't it? And it fits in rather well in Mahindra's alphanumeric nomenclature. Whatever it's called, this compact SUV's prospects in India appear brighter than ever.

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