Utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra launched Rexton SUV in India from its Korean subsidiary SsangYong. After the initial excitement, Rexton's sales dipped and it was clear that SsangYong brand hasn't gone down well with the Indian buyers. Hence, the Rexton remained the only model from SsangYong's stable to be in the country all these years.
Meanwhile, SsangYong has globally unveiled next-generation Rexton SUV in March 2017 and the model is expected to make its India debut at Auto Expo 2018 in February. However, there is a twist. The new Rexton is expected to be badged under Mahindra in the new avatar and is likely to be sold as Mahindra Rexton instead of SsangYong Rexton.
Mahindra currently follows alphanumeric naming strategy for its SUVs. Hence, the company may rename the Rexton as Mahindra XUV700 when it gets launched in the second half of 2018. It will be the new flagship SUV in Mahindra's stable above the XUV500.
Derived from the LIV-2 concept unveiled at the Paris Motor Show 2016, the new Rexton's face gets a major rework. It boasts off revised bumper which is now angular, with newly designed headlamps and black body cladding. The prominent character lines and thick C-pillars stands out on the exterior.
The new Rexton gets a dual-tone dashboard with black and brown finish. The addition of wood-finish strip on the passenger side and a diamond pattern leather strip add to the premium feel. The new Rexton also packs projector headlamps, a 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. Whether these features will be part of India-spec remains to be seen.
The SUV will be powered by a 2.2-litre diesel engine with rated outputs of 187hp and 420Nm, mated to a seven-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox sourced from Mercedes-Benz. It will go up against the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour while the price is expected to undercut both its rivals.