Reader Saravanan Jayapalan of MyCopie notebooks, captured a Mahindra SUV test mule in Chennai. At a glance, this appears like the Scorpio facelift frequently spotted around the Mahindra Research Valley in Chennai.
However this isn't the Scorpio facelift. The mule, with room for five adults, has a more upright stance and tighter overhangs. The bonnet is flatter, and the side profile is more compact than the Scorpio. The rear lights are halogen bulbs (opposed to LED on the Scorpio), the wheel arches aren't bolstered, and the headlamp cutouts are similar in style to the S101.
What this is then is the next generation Mahindra Bolero (code - U301) undergoing testing for a launch in 2015 or 2016. Reports say that the Bolero replacement could be a sub-4m vehicle (short overhangs and a very compact rear quarter glass is suggesting the same) built on a new hydroformed ladder frame chassis. The vehicle could share the Quanto's 1.5-liter three-cylinder diesel engine (Mahindra does not have another sub-1.5L diesel engine) matched to a five-speed manual or a new AMT.
The Bolero currently comes in two body lengths (Bolero and Bolero Plus) and the same variant plan could support the successor, with a four-cylinder engine used on the higher capacity variant. The compact version could emerge first before the other variants.
Mahindra is also working on a third SUV - the Mahindra S102 - which hasn't been spotted testing yet.