It is no doubt that Mahindra has been working on an extended wheelbase version of its successful sub 4 metre SUV TUV 300. In fact, as per reports, Mahindra is planning to christen it as TUV 500. With the Mahindra Xylo becoming a dud product in its line-up, Mahindra sees the extended wheelbase version of its TUV 300 to be its ideal replacement and a better competition to the likes of Maruti Ertiga and Renault Lodgy.
Now, recently, the extended wheelbase version of TUV 300, namely TUV 500 has been spotted testing on roads of Chennai. Clearly, the vehicle has been undergoing pre-production runs for calibration and data collection in Mahindra’s Research Valley situated in the city.
The TUV 500 from Mahindra will be a proper 7-seater with adequate space for all the passengers. The TUV 500 is expected to be very similar to TUV 300 till the B-pillar. But, rather than ending as a sub 4 m SUV, the extended wheelbase takes the sheet metal around the third row of seats. And, unlike the TUV 300 which gets side facing seats for its sixth and seventh passengers, the TUV 500 should get much more comfortable bench seats at the rear aided by much better cushioning and seat belts.
With the looks of the test mule in the pics, it is clear that visually, TUV 500 should be very similar to TUV 300. This should also help Mahindra to price its people mover better. The front of the TUV 500 should get a similar chin-up treatment with squarish headlights and grilles in the front. The boxy, tank inspired shape of TUV 300 should carry forward with the TUV 500 as well. While we all had a bit of apprehension on the looks of TUV 300 because of its sub 4m restriction, the lines on the sides of TUV 500 should be more free-flowing and proportional.Expect the spare wheel to be mounted on the tail gate as seen on the TUV 300.
TUV 500 is expected to be powered by the new Delhi-NCR specific 1.99L mHawk diesel engine from the XUV500 and Scorpio, good enough for 140 BHP and 320 Nm torque, mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
The interiors of the TUV 500 should be no different from the TUV 300 currently on sale. Expect the Mahindra to be loaded to the brim with features such as keyless entry, infotainment system, alloy wheels, voice alerts and so on.
While no clear launch date has been specified by Mahindra, expect the new TUV 500 by the middle of next year.