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2023 Mahindra Scorpio-N revealed, Australian sales likely this time

Mahindra may corner the local market for a small-ish, practical body-on-frame SUV with its new Scorpio-N, expected to launch locally.

William Stopford
William Stopford
Journalist
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Mahindra’s first new Scorpio body-on-frame SUV in 20 years will be sold alongside its predecessor and offer a choice of petrol and diesel engines.

The Indian automaker has released images and further details of the new Scorpio-N, though many details remain unconfirmed.

Mahindra says it’ll launch the Scorpio-N in India on June 27, 2022.

CarExpert understands that, unlike the old Scorpio, the new Scorpio-N will also likely come to Australia.

That would put it in showrooms alongside the XUV700, due here in the second half of this year which, like the XUV500 it replaces, features unibody construction.

The Scorpio-N debuts a new body-on-frame platform, and will offer a choice of petrol or diesel engines, manual and automatic transmissions, and the option of four-wheel drive.

While Mahindra hasn’t released specifications for these engines, Indian media reports the Scorpio-N will be offered with a choice of 2.0-litre mStallion turbo-petrol and 2.2-litre mHawk turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines.

In the XUV700, the petrol produces 147kW of power and 380Nm of torque while the diesel produces 114kW and either 420Nm (with a six-speed manual) or 450Nm (with a six-speed auto).

To an even greater degree than the XUV700, the Scorpio-N is likely to represent a significant step forward from its ageing predecessor in both design and technology.

Styling has been transformed, with a much more modern look while still looking chunky and purposeful.

There’s what appears to be LED lighting up front and elegant touches like a chromed beltline, which kicks up at the C-pillar to stop the Scorpio-N from appearing too boxy.

Spy photos show the tail lights run for over half the height of the tailgate up to the roof, à la a Volvo XC90.

In contrast, the outgoing Scorpio features a boxy shape mashed with rounded lines, from its curvy belt line; pronounced, rounded wheel arches; and its blistered, B-shaped tail lights.

Indian media reports suggest the cabin will feature an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, wireless phone charging, and safety tech such as a surround-view camera; spy photos have been published on Team BHP.

The current Scorpio is a similar size to the now-defunct, five-door Suzuki Grand Vitara, which makes it smaller than the unibody XUV700 that’s closer to a Skoda Kodiaq in footprint.

There’s essentially nothing around this size in Australia with body-on-frame construction, which is typically preferred for rugged off-roaders like the Suzuki Jimny and Jeep Wrangler.

Mahindra has owned the Scorpio trademark in Australia since February 2019 but currently sells only the Pik-Up in Australia, with the XUV500 discontinued pending the arrival of its XUV700 successor.

The outgoing Scorpio and Pik-Up share a platform, which could mean Mahindra has a new-generation ute in the works.

Don’t expect the old SUV to go anywhere anytime soon, though. It’s been rechristened the Scorpio Classic in India and will be sold alongside the Scorpio-N.

The company has also previously expressed interest in introducing the Thar to Australia, an off-roader with a cult following in India that bears more than a passing resemblance to a Jeep Wrangler.

Legal action from Jeep has thus far scuppered those plans, and Mahindra needs to provide FCA Australia with 90 days’ notice if it plans to bring the Thar to Australia in the future.

The new model is built on a new body-on-frame chassis with double-wishbone front suspension and a multi-link solid rear axle with coils and dampers.

It has a locking rear diff, a transfer case with low-range gearing, 226m of ground clearance, a 650mm wading depth, and a fearsome 42 degree approach angle. The break over angle is up to 27 degrees.

MORE: Mahindra tells Federal Court it won’t sell Jeep Wrangler lookalike in Australia
MORE: Mahindra & Mahindra, a hidden giant

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William Stopford
William Stopford

William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel (remember that?), briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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