Spaceship Enterprise
Auto Today|September 2021
With a list of features and equipment that luxury cars boast of as well as brand new engines and a revamped chassis, Mahindra’s replacement for the XUV500 is very promising. Whether it delivers what it promises is yet to be seen but we got a glimpse of its capabilities over two days in Chennai and here is our first-drive report
Yogendra Pratap

When the XUV500 was launched about a decade back, it was a game-changer of sorts – both for Mahindra as well as for the market as it was super aggressively priced and had features and equipment well over what was expected of a vehicle of its class and pricing. It was also the company’s first monocoque SUV as well as having a transverse engine-front wheel drive layout. However, over the past few years it has been showing its age and we had all been expecting a next generation XUV500 and that was what Mahindra was also working on. But the next generation 500 turned out to be so far ahead of the game that Mahindra decided to up the ante and name it the XUV700, leaving space for a new car between the 300 and the 700.

The 700 continues to be a 7-seater as well and will come in two distinct lines, the MX and the AdrenoX series. While the MX will be a plain vanilla offering, filling up the space currently vacated by the 500, with an old diesel engine and bereft of any of the class-leading features but still with small screens for both infotainment and instrument panel, it is the AdrenoX series that we drove and that we will be talking about here.

The car has remnants of the 500 design language but is a much more mature design if one overlooks the front and the rear, which are both designed with the intent of making a strong statement, one that may not be pleasing to all – but will appeal to a big enough audience. The car has a wide stance and inspires a lot more confidence than most of the Mahindra designs of yore and some of the highlights include flush door handles that are electrically deployed in some of the top variants.

Powering the AdrenoX series are two brand new all aluminium engines, a 2.2litre diesel and a 2-litre petrol, both turbocharged with direct injection. While the diesel is quite smooth to drive, and comes with different ECU maps to switch between three drive mode – Zip, Zap and Zoom, it is the petrol engine car that was more surprising and coming from Mahindra, it is a big step forward. Both the engines are available with manual and automatic gearboxes and there will be an option of having all-wheel drive as well. The chassis itself has been made with liberal use of high tensile steel to enhance torsional rigidity and reduce weight as well as ensure safety and adequate impact absorption. Added to that is a multiple link rear suspension with frequency-selective dampers and a stabilizer bar and Mahindra has the makings of a very dynamically capable SUV.

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