SsangYong Rexton with Mahindra badging
SsangYong Rexton with Mahindra badgingAutocar India

Mahindra & Mahindra, a leading Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) maker of India, is gearing up to enter premium SUV space. The Mumbai-based company had showcased its new flagship seven-seater SUV at the Auto Expo 2018. It looks like the company is planning to launch the SUV during the upcoming festive season and the road tests have already begun. The full-size SUV, based on the new generation SsangYong Rexton, has now been spotted on the road undisguised.

At the Auto Expo, Mahindra showcased its Toyota Fortuner and also the rival SUV of Ford Endeavour. Interestingly, the latter was introduced without a name at the show. Reports claim Mahindra will call it either Rexton or XUV700. However, International Business Times, India can confirm that the company will be using a separate alphanumeric name for the new SUV.

Mahindra's new SUV
Mahindra's new 7 seat SUVAutocar India

Mahindra has showcased the rebadged Rexton with some tweaks on the exterior to make it in line with the automaker's design philosophy. These include toothy-grille upfront with a chrome finish and obviously, Mahindra logo right at the center. In addition, Mahindra has worked on the suspension, ride height and handling package of the new SUV to make it better suited for Indian road conditions.

In addition to the boxy silhouette, which is typical to the seven-seat SUVs, the new Mahindra SUV gets an angular bumper. The newly designed wrap-around headlamps are tastefully done while the black body claddings accentuate off-road appeal. The prominent character lines on the side and thick C-pillars are the other standout exterior bits.

Mahindra 7-seat SUV
Mahindra's new 7-seat SUVIBT Media/ Ken Sunny

On the inside, the SUV features a dual-tone dashboard with black and brown finish. Premium features like 9.2-inch HD touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a 360-degree camera, a 7.0-inch LCD instrument cluster, cooled seats, Nappa leather upholstery and a smart tailgate will increase the appeal of the SUV. It will also help the Mahindra SUV to get an edge over the rivals.

Mahindra new 7-seat SUV's grille
Mahindra new 7-seat SUV's grilleIBT Media/ Ken Sunny

Mahindra is expected to employ a 2.2-litre diesel engine that develops 187hp of power and 420Nm of torque in the SUV. The mill will come mated to a seven-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox sourced from Mercedes-Benz.

If Mahindra prices the new SUV in the range of Rs 30-35 lakh, it will be a compelling case against its rivals.

Mahindra 7-seat SUV
Mahindra 7-seat SUV without badging at the rearIBT Media/ Ken Sunny

Picture source: Autocar