The popular Mahindra XUV500 sports utility vehicle has been further enhanced with the addition of an automatic transmission option. The advanced six-speed transmission will initially only be available on the front-wheel W8 derivative.
“Our New Age XUV500 has been extremely well received since we launched this sophisticated, well-equipped and highly competent SUV locally in October last year,” says Sanjoy Gupta, chief executive officer of Mahindra South Africa. “However, customer feedback indicated that there is a significant demand for an automatic transmission model.”
A brand new, highly advanced automatic transmission, sourced from leading global transmission manufacturer Aisin, has since been approved for use in the XUV500, and has now been added as an option to the XUV500 model range in South Africa.
The brand new, second-generation auto transmission links a torque converter to planetary gears for smooth, precise gear shifts. It offers the best of both worlds, achieving the quick responses of a manual transmission with the refinement, convenience and ease of use associated with automatic transmissions.
The six-speed design has been optimised for both response and fuel efficiency, thanks to a carefully selected ratio set that ensures brisk acceleration and midrange tractability, while the overdrive sixth gear allows economical open-road cruising.
The intelligent transmission seamlessly adapts to different driving conditions, and is equipped with a ‘creep’ function to easily cope with stop/start driving conditions in urban traffic. A manual override mode still offers enthusiast drivers the option of shifting gears themselves for even greater driver involvement and control.
The automatic transmission is linked to the XUV500’s powerful, efficient turbodiesel engine. The 2,2-litre four-cylinder mHawk 140 turbodiesel makes use of a variable geometry turbocharger to produce 103 kW of maximum power at 3 750 r/min.
The impressive torque peak of 330 Nm is reached at just 1 600 r/min, and sustained to 2 800 r/min, ensuring athletic responses, excellent in-gear tractability and superior lugging power.
At 7,4 litres/100 km for the combined cycle (two-wheel drive version), linked to CO2 exhaust emissions of just 196 g/km, the XUV500 W8 Automatic also counts efficiency among its talents.
An all-independent suspension sees front MacPherson struts combined with a multilink rear set-up. The latter was specially tuned by sports car maker Lotus for optimum handling and response. A power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system ensures confident, sure-footed control.
The automatic transmission-equipped version of the New Age XUV500 retains all the attractions and benefits of the powerful, spacious and well-equipped SUV that made its debut last year.
Thanks to its fresh, cheetah-inspired styling, high comfort levels, seven-seater cabin and muscular turbodiesel drivetrain, the classy Mahindra SUV is becoming an increasingly regular sight on SA roads.
Aesthetic highlights include a smart glossy black grille with a subtle chrome accents and black mesh inserts. Cleanly styled headlights with a curved LED daytime running light signature add to the XUV500’s cheetah-inspired frontal design.
The rear treatment is streamlined and elegant, framed by tall, longitudinally arranged tail light clusters, while the XUV500 runs on attractive, multi-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels shod with all-terrain tyres.
The spacious cabin of the New Age XUV500 features plush all-back leather upholstery and a large seven-inch, full-colour touch-screen display located in the centre stack in the case of the W8 models.
It provides intuitive, convenient access to the XUV500’s comprehensive infotainment features, including integrated satellite navigation with voice prompts, as well as a multi-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free telephony and music streaming, iPod-compatible USB sockets, and a reverse camera.
Of particular note is the presence of three rows of seats, offering accommodation for up to seven occupants – two in the front seats, three on the middle bench seat, and two on the third seating row.
The XUV500’s cabin is also comprehensively equipped. The W8 models benefit from advanced features such as auto-sensing headlights and windscreen wipers, fully automatic climate control air-conditioning, remote central locking, cruise control and a multifunction steering wheel.
Electrically operated windows and exterior mirrors, an air-cooled centre console, and charging points in all three seating rows are also included.
The W8 models’ comprehensive line-up of active and passive safety features encompasses dual front, side and curtain airbags, together with seat belts for all seating positions, side impact protection bars, and crash protection crumple zones.
The active safety systems comprise an all-disc braking system with ABS anti-lock control and electronic brake force distribution (EBD), as wells as electronic stability program (ESP) with roll-over mitigation. The W6 and W8 versions of the XUV500 also feature Hill Hold and Hill Descent Control.
PRICING, SERVICE AND WARRANTY
The New Age XUV500 is available through Mahindra’s national dealer network. Recommended retail prices are as follows
XUV500 W4 R272 995
XUV500 W6 R319 995
XUV500 W8 R354 995
XUV500 W8 AWD R374 995
XUV500 W8 Auto R389 995
The pricing includes a five-year/150 000 km warranty, and a five-year/100 000 km service plan. Services are at 20 000 km intervals or every 12 months, whichever comes first.