Indian manufacturer Mahindra will make its first venture into Australia’s passenger vehicle market in 2012 when it launches the XUV500. The seven-seat SUV joins the Mahindra Pik-Up, which will continue in its single and dual cab chassis and cargo body styles.
Vehicle type: Medium SUV. Timing: April
Mahindra’s first global SUV will arrive in Australia early in the second quarter of the year. With an estimated starting price $25,500 driveaway, Mahindra has set its sights squarely on the $25,990-driveaway, Chinese-built Great Wall X200. Powered by a 2.2-litre diesel engine with 103kW and 330Nm of torque, the XUV500 will initially be available with a six-speed manual transmission (a six-speed automatic is under development and should launch by around mid-2013). It will be available in both rear- and four-wheel drive.
Mahindra says the seven-seater’s unique exterior is inspired by a pouncing cheetah. It promises to be well equipped with dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights and wipers, reverse parking sensors, and a six-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation and DVD playback. Six airbags and electronic stability control with rollover mitigation will also be included as standard.