Mahindra 7-seat SUV
Mahindra 7-seat SUVIBT Media/ Ken Sunny

Despite being the utility vehicle specialist of India, Mahindra & Mahindra is having a rough ride with the advent of new SUVs from rivals. The SUV market share of Mahindra is down to less than 30 percent now from over 50 percent in 2010. 

To address this alarming situation, Mahindra & Mahindra is gearing to launch an array of new models. In addition to its stronghold of under Rs 20 lakh SUVs, the company will foray into the seven-seat premium SUV segment as part of the new product launch plan. The SUV for the mission has already been unveiled at Auto Expo 2018 in February.

The model in question is the rebadged new generation Rexton SUV from Mahindra's South Korean subsidiary SsangYong. The SUV showcased at the Auto Expo 2018 featured Mahindra logo instead of SsangYong and it also had a toothy-grille in line with Mahindra's design language. The SUV, however, had no name.

Mahindra 7-seat SUV
Mahindra 7-seat SUVIBT Media/ Ken Sunny

Multiple reports prior to the Auto Expo claimed that the new SUV will be called Mahindra Rexton or XUV700. International Business Times, India learned that neither Rexton nor XUV700 will be the name. Rexton is a name reserved for SsangYong brand while Mahindra wants a clear distinction between the new SUV and the XUV500. Hence, the new SUV will get a new alphanumeric name.

Mahindra will be launching the new flagship SUV around the festive season of this year, reports Cardekho. The production of the SUV will soon start at Mahindra's Chakan plant with CKD kits imported from South Korea.

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

The new Mahindra SUV boasts an angular bumper with newly designed headlamps and black body cladding. The prominent character lines and thick C-pillars stands out on the exterior. It also gets a dual-tone dashboard with black and brown finish.

Being the premium and top-of-the-line SUV from Mahindra's stable, the new SUV will get 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.

SsangYong Rexton
New generation SsangYong RextonSsangYong

New Mahindra SUV is expected to draw power from a 2.2-litre diesel engine that develops 187hp of power and 420Nm of torque mated to a seven-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox sourced from Mercedes-Benz.

The Rexton-based Mahindra SUV will lock horn against the likes of Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour in Rs 30 to 40 lakh SUV segment in India.