Mahindra is targeting two completely different audiences with the new compact SUVs that will be launched later this year as it plans to go all offensive on the competition in the segment.

2015 Mahindra Bolero Front
The new compact SUVs are set to be Mahindra new volume products

While the Scorpio and Bolero have turned into cult offerings in Mahindra’s stable over the years, its experience with small cars has been far from satisfying. Even though the automaker took a head-start by offering the Quanto in the then nascent compact SUV space, the half baked product could not hold a candle against the competition. Nevertheless, learning from its mistakes Mahindra went back to the drawing board and has churned out two new compact SUVs codenamed S101/S102 and U301, both of which will compete in the sub 4-metre space; but will be targeted at completely different audiences.

2015 Mahindra S101 Compact SUV Spy Shot Chennai
The S101 will rival compact SUVs, hatch-crossovers with a a very low price tag

Starting with the S101/S102 compact SUV, the new Mahindra compact SUV will be a direct rival to the Ford EcoSport with its sub 4-metre dimensions and an all-new monocoque platform. Developed from scratch, the new S101 is expected to succeed where the Quanto failed and is more hatchback-like but with butch exteriors. Targeted at first time car or SUV buyers, the S101 has been designed to maximise cabin space and gets minimal overhangs. You get a 6-seater layout with the front seats similar to the Datsun GO. The gear lever has also been incorporated in the dashboard, while the centre console has been done away with to increase legroom.

The S101/S102 will be the first vehicle to feature Mahindra’s newly developed 1.2-litre petrol engine, while the 1.5-litre diesel from the Quanto will be on offer, paired to a 5-speed manual and an AMT unit. Also competing against the Maruti YBA and hatchback-crossovers, the S101/S102 will come with an extremely attractive price tag undercutting the competition. Mahindra is also looking to offer 7 or 8-seater versions of the compact SUV.

2015 Mahindra Bolero U301 Spied Chennai
The U301 is a more rugged & purpose built compact SUV targeted at the rural market

The U301 compact SUV on the other hand also been popularly termed as the new generation Bolero. Unlike the S101 though, the new compact SUV will be based on a new ladder-on-frame chassis with hydroforming that will not only improve the stiffness but also reduce the overall weight. As seen in the spy shots, the U301 gets rugged and box-type exteriors hinting towards a more utilitarian appeal and will be targeted at customers who need a purpose built compact SUV for off-roading or driving in rural areas.

The U301 will be offered as a proper 7-seater right from the start. To be positioned above the S101/S102, the new U301 will be locking horns with the Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano. It is believed that an All-Wheel Drive version is also in the works along with an AMT equipped unit. The 1.5-litre 3-cylinder diesel engine will do duty here as well and the no frills theme is expected inside the cabin giving the U301 a heavy pricing advantage over its rivals. While it has not been confirmed yet, the U301 could co-exist with the full-sized Bolero with the latter being Mahindra’s best selling vehicle.

Source – Autocar