While most compact SUVs are taking on compact sedans and C-segment sedans, the Mahindra S101 will be positioned as an alternative to hatchbacks.

2015 Mahindra S101 Test Mule
Mahindra plans to compete against the Ford EcoSport & Fiat Avventura with the S101

While Mahindra acknowledges to have not judged the right potential of the compact SUV segment in hindsight, the company is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that its future set of offerings are capable to handle every segment, sub-segment and micro sub-segment that would come out in the compact SUV space. With the upcoming S101 (codename), Mahindra is planning to kill two birds with one stone as the compact SUV will be taking on not only its contemporaries in the UV space but hatchbacks as well.

As these new spy shots sent by our readers Gokul and Rishath showcase, the 2015 Mahindra S101 gets a more hatchback-like profile coupled with brawny looks for an SUV stance. The dimensions are well under 4-metres; while the roofline is rather curvy to be seen on an SUV. Based on a monocoque platform, the new S101 will also boast of minimal body roll and much better driving dynamics that will keep it on par with hatchbacks.

One of the most dominant segments in the Indian auto market, the absence of a hatchback is surely hurting Mahindra in recent times. The company’s play with the Verito Vibe didn’t go down well either and the model was rejected almost immediately after launch. This is where the S101 comes into the picture and is a hatchback covered in an SUV guise. Mahindra has very cleverly tried to not deviate too far from its roots as a UV maker while also offering hatch-like proportions at the same time.

Expected to go on sale later this year, the Mahindra S101 will be a 6-seater vehicle with the front row getting a bench-type seating (like the Datsun GO). Reports suggest that 7 or 8-seater versions are also under development. Powering the S101 will be a newly developed 1.2-litre petrol engine along with the 1.5-litre diesel unit currently seen on the Quanto, paired to a 5-speed manual transmission on both the engines. Mahindra could also offer an AMT unit later in the timeline and will debut on the facelifted Quanto later this year.

2015 Mahindra S101 Test Mule Spied
The S101 is one of the three compact SUVs planned for launch in 2015