Indian Autos Blog reader, Mr. Marc Derock, spotted the Mahindra S101 (codename) on test in Chennai recently. The S101 has been spied testing here many times as Mahindra's research center, which is developing the car from scratch, is located on the outskirts of the city.
Based on an all-new platform, the S101 is a sub-4 meter vehicle with crossover looks, and would rival the Ford EcoSport in terms of utility. The test mule suggests that the S101 will have a rather compact footprint, making it Mahindra's smallest car till date (if the Verito Vibe is excluded).
Power for the S101 is reported to come from a newly-developed 1.2-liter petrol engine which Mahindra is co-engineering with Ssangyong. The diesel S101 could source its power from the three-cylinder 1.5-liter engine (mCR100) used on the Quanto.
Inside, the S101 has been spotted with a dashboard mounted gearlever, suggesting that the front row seats could adopt a bench type layout with seating for three abreast (somewhat similar to the Datsun Go).
Mahindra's president and executive director for automotive and farm equipments division, Dr. Pawan Goenka, recently told a newspaper that the company will launch two new compact SUVs next year. The S101 and U301 (Bolero successor) are two products to watch out for from them in 2015.
Competitors: Ford EcoSport, VW Taigun
Expected Price: INR 5-7 lakhs, ex-Showroom