IndianAutosBlog reader Anish Koundanya snapped these images of the Mahindra S201 (codename) testing in Chennai. Based on spy shots, it appears that it is a base variant of the upcoming SUV as it sports steel wheels and lacks roof rails or rear wiper and washer.
For reference, the top-end S201, which was also snapped testing by an IndianAutosBlog reader, features roof rails, alloy wheels and a rear wiper and washer. The fact that Mahindra has many prototypes of the S201 on test accumulating thousands of kilometers in test runs further bolsters reports that the carmaker will launch the compact SUV in January of 2019.
When launched, the S201's major rivals will be the Maruti Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon, and Ford EcoSport. The Vitara Brezza is the best selling product in its class with 5-digit monthly sales, a feat it manages without offering a petrol option. However, Mahindra will have all bases covered with the S201 as reports say it will come with a 1.2-liter turbocharged petrol engine and a 1.5-liter diesel engine. The petrol is expected to develop 140 hp and the diesel, which makes its debut on the Mahindra Marazzo, is reported to produce 121 hp. These new engines are co-developed with Ssangyong Motor, which has also lent the Ssangyong Tivoli which forms the basis of the S201.
However, where the Tivoli measures 4,195 mm in length, the S201 will squeeze into the sub-4 meter category thanks to a redesigned front end, C-Pillar and rear with horizontal taillights instead of the Tivoli's vertically stacked units.