Compact SUV based on a new platform on global tests.
Regularly spotted testing in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, where Mahindra has its research and development center, the Mahindra U301 (codename for the next generation Bolero SUV) was snapped on test in Germany recently.
The fact that Mahindra is testing out the prototype in Germany does not confirm that the car will be launched there. Carmakers irrespective of their nationality or target markets, test and validate cars in demanding geographic conditions around the world.
The compact SUV is due to launch in India next year and could give stiff competition to even cars like the Ford EcoSport, Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano. It is reported to get a new three-cylinder diesel engine, as well as an all-new petrol engine co-developed with Ssangyong. Its back-to-basics ladder-frame setup and body shape hints that its primary targets would be the commercial utility vehicles Tata Movus, Tata Sumo and the Chevrolet Tavera.
Mahindra would most certainly explore the possibility of selling the U301 (and the S101) in markets like Australia, Algeria, Kenya and Latin America where the company is already present.
Competitors: Chevrolet Tavera, Tata Movus, Ford EcoSport, Renault Duster
Expected Price: INR 6 - 8 lakhs, ex-Showroom
Launch Date: Late 2015 (Tentative)
[Spy images of the U301 testing in Germany can be seen here.]