These are the first undisguised pictures of the Mahindra Verito Vibe which confirms that this sub-4-metre iteration of the Verito saloon, due for launch next month, is clearly a hatchback.
Instead of simply chopping the boot, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has given the Vibe a two-box body style with a large tailgate straddled by equally large tail lights that sit on a new C-pillar. A prominent lip in the tailgate and roof rails attempt to give a touch of sportiness. However, the sharp rake of the C-pillar is at odds with the Vibe’s otherwise upright stance and is far from cohesive with the rest of the car. Ahead of the C-pillar, the Vibe is, as expected, identical to the Verito saloon sharing the same doors and body panels. The only difference is up front where the Vibe sports a different grille and front bumper.
Unlike other sub-4 metre saloon derivatives like the Indigo eCS, Maruti Swift Dzire and Honda Amaze, which are aimed at saloon car buyers, the Vibe is targeting hatchback owners who don’t mind trading the prestige of a three-box car for practicality and luggage space. In fact, the Vibe, despite being cut to under 4 metres is likely to be the hatchback with the biggest boot.
The rest of the Vibe is similar to the Verito or the Renault Logan on which this car is originally based. It is powered by the same Renault K9K 1.5 litre diesel engine, which puts out a modest 68bhp. The weight difference between the Vibe and regular Verito is expected to be marginal and hence the hatchback’s performance is likely to be similar to the saloon’s. There is no petrol engine option planned for the Vibe which at launch, will be available with just one engine option.
M&M is expected to launch the Vibe sometime in May for an estimate price of around Rs. 5.75 lakh (ex-showroom) for the base model. M&M currently sells an average of 1,200 Veritos a month but mainly to the taxi market. With the Vibe, M&M hopes to at least double the combined sales of the Verito saloon and Vibe but more importantly, attract private buyers with its new hatchback.
First Published: Apr 14, 2013 23:34 IST