The Mahindra Quanto has been a huge surprise in India. Why? Well, for a start it has proved that anything and everything is possible. It has also proved that one cannot predict the 'next big thing'.
We're not exactly the biggest fans of the Mahindra mini SUV. We feel that the extra seats in the back can be done without. We feel that the cabin quality can be improved, vastly. We also feel that Mahindra could offer a 4x4 version to give the Quanto some unique identity of its own.
In fact, every time I meet a key personnel from M&M, the question of the 4WD Quanto pops up. And every time the answer has been the same: 'Do you think a market for a 4WD car exists at this price point?'
However, Mahindra have always hinted that should a market exist, they would jump right in with a 4WD Quanto overnight. They've the technology (and a 4WD Quanto is being planned for the export markets as well).
The folks at Motorbash.com have managed to snap the 4x4 Quanto while it was undergoing testing. And before you start saying this is a regular Quanto (with the lack of a rear footstep strangely), look closely at the wheel hub. The '4WD' badging is clearly displayed.
Other noteworthy points from MotorBash's story say that the car was a 5 seater as it didn't have the extra seats at the rear (is this why there is no footstep?).
The 4x4 Quanto has always left us pondering with another important question: Will it continue using the current 3-cylinder 1.5-liter engine? Or would Mahindra want the more powerful 2.2-liter engine to power the 4-wheel drive system?
The engine the Quanto 4WD uses would be crucial in determining the price of the car. Moving up from the 1.5-liter would no longer qualify it for the sub-4m tax cut (the maximum engine capacity for a diesel is 1.5-liter in addition to it measuring sub-4m).
As a result, we cannot really speculate how much the Quanto 4WD could cost if at all Mahindra plans to launch it in India. However, keeping inline with their tradition of 'highly competitive pricing', you can certainly expect the Quanto 4WD to offer good value.
[Source - MotorBash.com]