We had predicted that the prices of the Mahindra XUV 500 would start some where above the Rs. 12 lakh mark. Well we were off the mark and by a considerable margin. The prices of the Mahindra XUV 500 start at Rs. 10.80 lakhs for the W6 version through Rs.11.95lakh for the 2 wheel drive (front wheels are the driven wheels for all 2 wheel drive variants) W8 version and going up to Rs. 12.88 lakhs for the fully loaded four wheel drive W8 version. The vehicle features a monocoque construction which is a first for Mahindra and has a new cable operated system for gear changing to make gear changes smoother and less stressful. In the first phase of the launch the vehicle will be available only in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengalooru and Hyderabad. The vehicle will be launched in South Africa tomorrow and will go to other right hand drive markets such as Australia and SAARC countries and will ultimately be available even in Western Europe which will require the vehicle to be left hand drive.
The Mahindra XUV 500 is the second Cheetah to be launched in the automotive space in India, the first being the Kawasaki Bajaj KB100 RTZ which had an add of the bike morphing into a cheetah and back with the tag line being ride the cheetah. Mahindra are saying that it is the lithesome cheetah that has inspired the lines of the vehicle and that is evident from its pronounced haunches. The face to is supposed to be as per the looks of the cheetah and that explains the strange looking cuts.
Picture Courtesy: Indianautosblog.com
Mahindra has done its homework rather well and has not made the mistake that Tata made with the Aria by pricing it above better established and multinational players and found that people were not willing to pay a premium for a Tata however well the vehicle may have been made. Force Motors also have a lot to fear since their one trim only Force One is dangerously close to the XUV 500 in price and when seen in comparison looks dated and has a body on chassis construction though advantageous in rough road and off road conditions but definitely not possessing the dynamics of a monocoque. The world seems to prefer soft roaders (monocoque constructions) and Mahindra has caught on to the trend.
Kudos to Mahindra so far. However, the taste of the pudding can only be found out by eating it and the abilities of the XUV 500 will truly be known after the vehicle is driven. We somehow have a suspicion that even there it wouldn’t disappoint.