MOTORING NEWS

The latest cheetah inspired Mahindra XUV enters the lion’s den!

07_Mahindra XUV500
All brand new Mahindra XUV500 NewAge.

At the launch yesterday, the latest Mahindra XUV500 New Age brands were on offer for motoring journos to test drive after the business presentation at the Lanseria Airport ExecuJet Lounge.

Since its launch in 2011, the XUV 500 has been well received in the South African market and with the latest introduction of the more appealing but not brash SUV, the company will make available 50 units but expects to sell over 60 at the financial year end.

Continued Gupta, who only joined the company recently from abroad: “Combining contemporary styling and smart, spacious interior with a powerful and efficient turbodiesel drivetrain, the XUV500 has become a popular, value added option in the highly competitive SUV segment.

The array of improvements is significant inside and out, ensuring that the New Age XUV500 will be even more appealing than before.”

Mahindra SA is celebrating its 11th year of operations in South Africa with 60 dealerships in cities and towns across Southern Africa.

With the business aspects and company’s future plans out of the way, we made our way from the airport using well designed on and off routes to the ‘Platinum’ Province -North West.

With its cheetah-inspired styling, high comfort levels, seven-seater cabin and muscular turbodiesel drivetrain, the leather interior execution has also been upgraded.

Mahindra engine
XUV 500 NewAge’s MoHawk engine.

Mahindra XUV500 NewAge is spacious, fitted with the large seven-inch, full-colour touch-screen display located in the centre stack, infotainment includes 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.

Safety-wise, it has active safety systems comprising 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.

These were applied when we did ‘dead-brakes numerously’ on off road to test the brakes agility. It stood its ground, stru!

It comes with dual front, side and curtain airbags…

Although all the tests were manual, according to Gupta they will add the automatic at the later stage.

The 2,2-litre four-cylinder mHawk 140 turbodiesel engine 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 6,5 litres/100 km for the combined cycle, linked to CO2 exhaust emissions of just 171 g/km, the XUV500 also counts efficiency among its talents. Combined with a 70-litre fuel tank, the Mahindra offers an operating range in excess of 1 000 km between refuels, depending on driving conditions.

Mahindra interior
The spacious interior of the new Mahindra.

As the ‘new kid on the block’ and one of SA’s youngest drummer boy Danny “Danno” Petersen, who had a privilege to attend his first media motoring launch sums it up ‘it’s a cool family car’.

The New Age XUV500 is available at the following recommended retail prices:

XUV500 W4 R262 995
XUV500 W6 R304 995
XUV500 W8 R339 995
XUV500 W8 AWD R359 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.

As we concluded our day-thanks to scorching heat and driving through the mountains and valleys of Bokone Bophirima- we safely landed at De Wildt 4×4 Game Park (Giraffe Boma) for that much needed drink and lunch.

Although the new XUV 500 is cheetah inspired-we did not see any -as we took a turn at the game reserve apart from giraffes, zebras and impalas-before making our peaceful exit back to Lanseria Airport.

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