The Mahindra Scorpio-N, an off-road-capable mid-sized body-on-frame SUV from India developed with export markets in mind, is on track to arrive in Australia this April.
Revealed in the first half of last year, ongoing supply chain snags and high demand in India delayed its launch here, though Australia is billed as a “priority market” for the Mahindra Group as it pushes harder beyond its home market.
Update January 18, 2023: This story originally ran in June 2022, but Mahindra is now advertising the month of Australian launch, hence the update.
Mahindra is currently best known here for selling its rugged but antiquated Pik-Up, a kind of cut-price LandCruiser 70 Series alternative with a niche following in the bush.
The brand has also previously expressed its intent to sell the rugged Thar off-roader in Australia. It was on track to make the trip Down Under before legal action from Jeep, which argues the Thar is a Wrangler clone, scuppered those plans.
This Scorpio-N is quite a different proposition to this workhorse, and as such it sets up the brand for significant growth across Mahindra’s Australian dealerships – many of which are regional.
It was partly designed by Mahindra subsidiary Pininfarina in Italy, and engineered to some degree at Mahindra’s technical centre in Michigan, USA. Much of the design and development also took place at company centres in Chennai and Mumbai as well, and it’s made in Pune.
“The all-new Scorpio-N from Mahindra is engineered to be a global product out of India,” the company added, saying it spent 1600 crore rupees (about $300 million) on development including a “world class highly automated manufacturing line”.
The Mahindra Scorpio-N promises to fill a bit of gap in the market by offering “true 4×4′ capability and diesel power in a compact SUV body. In some ways it appears to be a spiritual successor to the old Suzuki Grand Vitara in this sense.
What we know about the Mahindra Scorpio-N
The Scorpio-N uses an off-road-friendly ladder frame rather than a car-like monocoque as its like-size competitors do. The Mahindra measures 4662mm long, and sits on a 2750mm wheelbase, making it about the same nose-to-tail as a Subaru Forester.
Petrol and diesel engines have been detailed, although the Australian press release only references the latter – despite wider market demand in this segment shifting to petrol.
Said diesel option is a 2.2-litre turbo four-cylinder common-rail with 129kW of power and 400Nm of torque, and comes with a six-speed Aisin automatic. The 2.0-litre turbo-petrol makes 149kW and 380Nm.
The diesel Scorpio-N has shift-on-the-fly 4×4 with low-range and various terrain modes; as well as electric power steering; a double-wishbone front and Watt’s linkage rear suspension setup; and a mechanical locking rear diff.
The grade walk for Australia remains to be determined, but available features listed in India include leather trim, LED lights, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, USB-C points, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Amazon Alexa voice control, app-based remote connectivity and SOS functions, sat-nav, a wireless charger, proximity key, and a 12-speaker Sony audio system.
The interior offers up to seven seats, with the option of fold ing third-row pews and also two individual middle row ‘captain’s chairs’ depending on spec.
Safety features listed include front, side and curtain airbags; ISOFIX child-seat anchor points; cruise control; and driver-drowsiness monitoring. It’s not clear at this stage what manner of more advanced driver-assist features will be offered.
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