Support for an export version of the Mahindra KUV100, called the S105, is becoming a greater focus of interest for the Australian market, according to the Indian company's local operations.
CarAdvice spoke with Mahindra Australia marketing manager, James Halliwell, who says interest in the S105, which will be based off the recently launched Indian-market-only KUV100 baby crossover, was gaining momentum. The export version will be differentiated from the car you see pictured here, at least to some degree.
"There's certainly interest in it. Interior packaging, the way it's positioned in the market is pretty interesting. The vehicle, shaped as an SUV with a bit more rugged road capabilities and ground clearance, along with a higher seating position, certainly represents an opportunity for the market. We are developing an export version of that product called the S105. There will be a few changes compared to what we see on the domestic KUV100," he said.
In its current form, the KUV100 can't be sold in Australia due to a lack of safety features. But, its drivetrain is likely to carry over into the S105 built for export. That drivetrain is a three-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine that produces 61kW of power and 115Nm of torque. It's mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
While it may not sound like much power, the directly injected engine works with a mass over well under 1000kg. That means it can get along without too many issues.
The vehicle built for export is likely to measure in at over 4m in length, which is one of the current tax barriers for the Indian market.
"Potentially it would be bigger. It will also have all the safety features required for our market," Halliwell said.
"It competes against the small car market in Australia. I don't think it would be priced as high as the small SUVs on the market. I think it will be under $20,000."
"It's a fun little car, it's quite sporty and throaty — it has a nice engine sound to it. It's in petrol, which is the first petrol for us, which is excellent. While it's only a three-cylinder 60kW engine, it has a lot of go and is a great city car for new car owners."
We'll keep you posted on developments and a closer timeline of when Mahindra plans on launching the S105 locally.
Do you like the design of the KUV100? Do you think a car like this would work locally?