Remember Quanto? The one that seemed like a Mahindra Xylo with its derrière chopped off?
Yes, the same small, boxy wagon has come back for another round in the markets, but with a new name – the NuvoSport. With the new name comes a new platform, on which the second-generation Scorpio is based.
The NuvoSport comes in six variants starting Rs 7.35 lakh for the base N4 variant, while the top variant N8 AMT costs Rs 9.76 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The car is stacked in competition against Ford EcoSport (Rs 7.28 lakh and Rs 9.75 lakh) and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza (Rs 6.99 lakh to Rs 9.64 lakh) .
Mahindra must be expecting something big from this one, considering that it’s not easy to give away its obsession for the letter ‘O’.
The skeleton of NuvoSport is more or less the same as Quanto with a few cosmetic changes. The most distinctive feature of the car is its face – the bold and aggressive “devil-grin” lines along with an aluminium chin (skid plate).
The headlamps are wrapped as tightly as those of the EcoSport, but Mahindra has added ‘eyebrow lights’, which could be the next big thing in façade design after daytime running lights.
While the Mahindra design team has developed the product, its R&D was done by engineers at the Mahindra Research Valley (MRV) in Chennai.
The NuvoSport comes with a decent list of features such as a touchscreen infotainment system, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and a reverse parking camera – all of which may upset its competitors.
Under the hood hums the same 1.5-litre mCR100 diesel engine that powered the Quanto. Although the company must have fine-tuned the engine for this one, the numbers from the engine look unchanged – 100bhp max power and a peak torque of 240Nm. A petrol engine looks unlikely in the future.
Pravin Shah, the president and chief executive (automotive) of M&M Ltd, said, “The NuvoSport has been designed to meet the needs of customers who lead an active lifestyle and are looking for a sporty and fun-to-drive SUV.”
Past vs Present
Quanto, launched in 2012, came a little too early in the compact SUV segment and failed terribly after Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster came along in 2013. Frankly, at a time when it’s facing tough competition from a bunch of other cars like Hyundai Creta, Nissan Terrano and the latest Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Mahindra should have come up with a better offering. Mahindra’s last compact SUV – the TUV300 – is doing a fair job with over 3,500 units sold in a month.
While Mahindra’s last major release, the KUV100, is a cool new chunk of metal that’s fairly likeable in motion, the NuvoSport still leaves room for Mahindra’s philosophy of rugged and masculine vehicles to grow.
At the Delhi Auto Expo 2016, Mahindra flexed its muscles with a MotoGP bike, an F1 race car, a range of smart trucks, and even a small hot electric car – the e2o Sports. The XUV Aero, a coupe-styled version of the XUV500, was quite a bold statement to make. But then, we’re still eagerly waiting to see a vehicle designed by recently acquired Italian firm Pininfarina in a Mahindra showroom.