All-new Mahindra XUV5OO spotted testing

The joint-venture with Ford might not be happening any more but the folks at Mahindra are going to have a busy year.

With the new Thar firing on all cylinders forcing the car-maker to ramp up capacity, two of their best-selling models are also getting ready for launch later this year. One of them, the all new XUV5OO, was caught testing on the outskirts of Chennai, not far off Mahindra's R&D Center.

Despite the heavy camouflage, it is clear Mahindra is looking to tone down the design and styling of the second-generation XUV5OO. The elimination of paw-shaped door handles and the reduced heft on the rear fenders are proof of that. Still, there are enough cues to not mistake it for anything but an XUV like the tipped-forward stance and the kinked-up window line. This restrained aggression bodes well for the new XUV5OO as it's likely to lock horns directly with the upcoming Tata Gravitas that wears sleek and contemporary clothes.

The interiors are likely to be significantly better than the current model with a plethora of features and improved build quality, fit and finish. Earlier test mules were seen with loads of kit including a flat-bottomed steering wheel and a two-tone dashboard with a long, continuous screen incorporating the instruments and infotainment.

Powertrain options are likely to be carried over from the Thar. The 2.0-liter 'mStallion' petrol and the 2.2-liter 'mHawk' diesel would be on duty, albeit in higher states of tunes. Both would have a choice of 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions with All Wheel Drive likely to be on offer in select trim levels as well.

Mahindra, together with Tata, have been flag-bearers of safer cars in the Indian market with the XUV3OO currently holding the distinction of the safest mass market car on sale. Expect that to continue with the XUV5OO.

So, if you're in the market for a three-row SUV, please wait. All pointers indicate the all-new XUV5OO should be worth it!

Picture Credits: Karthik Chandrasekar

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