The XUV 300 has been one of the biggest success stories to come out of the stable of Mahindra Automotive in recent times. Despite coming at a premium when compared to its rivals, the baby SUV has appealed owing to its long list of features some of which are first in segment. The past week saw 2 new avatars of the car; one that is made to make your commutes in the city simpler and the other that takes the adventure quotient of the car to an all new level. While you can lay your hands on the AMT variant of the car, the Super XUV 300 has been designed to take on the testing terrains the stages of the Indian national rally championships have to offer.
XUV 300 AMT
Mahindra has been introducing the automated manual transmission (AMT) technology in most of its cars so there’s no reason why the XUV 300 would not get the same treatment. This AMT with its “autoSHIFT” technology will be available on the W8 diesel variant and its optional pack W8(O), at an additional cost of Rs 55,000 over the manual version. The gearbox has been developed by Italian automotive experts Marelli who have also been providing the same to Maruti Suzuki for their slew of AMT vehicles.
The 1.5 litre turbo diesel engine on the car comes with an electronic variable geometry turbocharger and delivers 116.6 PS of maximum power. It also provides a segment-leading torque of 300 Nm. Mahindra says this helps in peppy acceleration and overtaking maneuvers. There are many other features this technology comes with. This includes Auto and Manual modes where the Auto mode boosts fuel efficiency and drivability while manual mode aids in better performance. The all-important Creep function is there as well where the vehicle can move without throttle input in both first and reverse gear, making driving easy in congested city traffic. But in case the doors are open the Creep function gets disabled.
Then there’s electronic stability control where the XUV300 comes with hill start assist technology to prevent roll-back when driving on a hill or moving up an incline. The car also comes with down-hill, kick-down shifts & anti-engine stall functions. What happens here is that gear shifts are automatically optimized with features to provide maximum power/torque output during overtaking or for quick acceleration. The drive and reverse lock out feature prevents sudden shifts between reverse and drive modes, unless the speed drops to less than 5 kmph. And finally the driver information system with gear display gives important alerts and information about the vehicle, such as the current gear, driving mode etc.
The W8 variant is priced at Rs 11.5 lakh (ex-showroom) while the more expensive W8(O) that comes with features like diamond-cut alloys, chrome upper & lower grille and dual-tone roof rails will cost you Rs 12.69 lakh (ex-showroom).
The inaugural event of the 2019 season of Indian national rally championships (INRC) saw a special debut, that of the Super XUV 300. According to Mahindra the SUV is rigorously developed to set the trails ablaze, during rallies, with its petrol and diesel-powered engines. Team Mahindra Adventure, comprising Gaurav Gill & co-driver Musa Sherif and Amittrajit Ghosh with co-driver Ashwin Naik, will be driving the Super XUV300s at the events this year. While the 1.5 litre diesel version has hasn’t seen too many changes when compared to the stock version (apart from ECU remap) a larger turbocharger, intake and exhaust are some of the changes seen on the 1.2 litre petrol variant. Reigers has provided rally tuned suspension for both the cars and all four disc rotors get new brake pads.
The petrol version is being driven by Gaurav Gill. Given the multiple INRC Champion’s recently announced tie-up with JK Tyre he will be using the 15-inch tyres specially developed by JK Tyre motorsport. Amittrajit Ghosh on the other hand is running on the rally spec MRF tyres on his Diesel variant. During the opening weekend in Chennai the cars couldn’t get onto the podium in INRC overall but were able to bag the top 2 podium positions in INRC 1 category.
The Mahindra Super XUV300 replaced the Super XUV500 that won the driver’s and constructor’s championships back to back in 2017 and 2018. Team Mahindra Adventure sealed multiple INRC wins over the years in their Super XUV500 starting way back in 2013. Mahindra SUVs have performed well in several other rallies including the Dakshin Dare, Desert Storm, Constructor’s Championship and Raid de Himalaya.
The Super XUVs have been made under the aegis of Mahindra Adventure which aims to showcase the tough and rugged DNA of Mahindra vehicles. Apart from taking part in motorsport events Mahindra Adventure also organizes a series of self-drive overland adventure expeditions as well off-roading activities.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars