Earlier last week, Mahindra announced that the replacement of the XUV500 will be known as the XUV700 in India. The announcement was made very strategically on the same day when Hyundai unveiled the Alcazar 7-seater SUV, alerting potential customers that there is another model in the same segment to be launched soon. Internally codenamed the W601, this upcoming three-row mid-size SUV was touted to be the next-generation Mahindra XUV500. However, the new 'XUV700' name confirms that the upcoming model will be positioned above the current XUV500. That brings us to the question - what happens to the 'XUV500' nameplate post the XUV700's debut?
Well, Mahindra recently announced on Twitter that the XUV500 nameplate will be 'temporarily' discontinued post the launch of the XUV700. The current-gen XUV500 has been on the market for 10 years and is now beginning to show its age in the face of fresh competition from the likes of Tata Harrier and Hyundai Creta. That said, the word 'temporarily' suggests that the XUV500 nameplate could perhaps make a return as a two-row derivate of the XUV700. It will then perfectly slot in as a compact SUV between the smaller XUV300 and the larger XUV700.
With the new nameplate, Mahindra seems to be following the latest trend in the SUV segment of three-row derivatives of C-segment SUVs, only reversed. Unlike other seven-seater SUVs which are a derivative of their smaller five-seater siblings, the new XUV500 will be a smaller derivative of its larger sibling. It could thus be based on the same W601 modular monocoque platform, albeit in a smaller size. Like the Harrier-based Safari and the Creta-based Alcazar, the new XUV500 could draw styling inspiration from the larger XUV700 and still have its own unique identity.
As for the Mahindra XUV700, it will mark a huge departure from the current-gen XUV500. It will be considerably larger - both in terms of length and width - than the current-gen XUV500. Mahindra have also confirmed that it will be offered with both petrol and diesel engines along with manual and automatic gearbox options. Hardcore SUV lovers will be very pleased with the fact that the XUV700 will even come with an all-wheel drive system. As for the XUV500, it could be offered with the same engine options, albeit in a lesser state of tune. The all-wheel drive system is also likely to be omitted to keep costs in check.
The new XUV500 could also be sharing a lot of the interior design and features with the XUV700, including the Mercedes-like twin screens for the instrument console and infotainment system and the Level-1 ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) tech. The next-gen XUV500 is likely to debut a year after the XUV700’s introduction in Q2 of FY2022. It could be priced from around INR 12 lakh (ex-showroom) and is expected to come back much stronger to take on the fiercely competitive compact-SUV segment.