New Mahindra Scorpio completes Australian testing program ahead of local launch.
Mahindra’s mould-breaking new Scorpio has finished outback testing in Australia, with towing and high-temperature evaluation part of the 120,000km program, along with “performance, capabilities, ride & handling, and NVH.”
Mahindra has provided information on the Australian testing program which saw three new Scorpio models finish 120,000km of test driving. The kilometres driven here add to a tally of over 1 million kilometres completed across four continents, with the Indian car maker’s home country one of the testing locations.
The Scorpio is the third-generation model produced by Mahindra and features a complete ground-up rebuild with a ladder-on-frame chassis. It uses a Penta-link rear suspension with Watts linkage (an upgrade over the previous panhard rod) and front double wishbones. This differs from the like of the Toyota Rav4 SUV and all of its peers which have a monocoque chassis – lighter and easier to tune for on-road handling but not as capable off-road, broadly speaking.
Dimensionally longer than a mid-size SUV such as the Hyundai Tucson or the Rav4, but around 300mm shorter than a ute-based wagon such as the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport or Ford Everest, the Scorpio four-wheel drive enters the market as a unique proposition that is expected to be very competitively priced as a properly rugged SUV.
Price and specifications for Australia are not yet announced but models in overseas markets come with 4×2 and 4×4 drivetrains. The 4×4 drivetrain is the one that gives the Scorpio appeal to off-roader enthusiasts including a rear mechanical locking differential and front braking electronic differential controlled via different driving modes. Four-high is engaged on the fly in low-traction environments for added grip. Braked towing capacity in other markets for the diesel model is 2500kg.
On the powertrain front, the model is expected to launch with a ‘mHawk’2.2-litre diesel turbo four-cylinder engine that produces 129kW and 400Nm via a six-speed automatic transmission. Driving modes for four-wheel driving are changed via the ‘4XPLOR’ system.
Part of the testing in Australia saw the Scorpio subjected to some tough environments. According to the press release: “These SUVs were pushed beyond normal driving conditions, including towing in 45+-degree heat and driving them for consecutive 17-18 hour days. One car even underwent a 10,000-kilometer non-stop test on dirt roads to ensure it could survive a trip through Australia’s outback.”
“Thorough testing is critical to our launch planning, and we’re proud to announce the upcoming launch of the Scorpio SUV in Australia as a significant step towards expanding our business globally,” said Joydeep Moitra, Head – Asia Pacific, International Operations, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
“We conducted extensive testing of the flagship SUV in Australia, covering 120,000 kilometres since October last year. A team of engineers gathered daily data and provided feedback to the design teams on the performance of the cars in tough Australian conditions. These SUVs have performed exceptionally well. This testing has ensured that the Scorpio is well-suited for the Australian market and sets the stage for Mahindra to strengthen its position as a global SUV-maker.”
The Scorpio’s testing and development process has resulted in a vehicle that is both capable and well-suited to Australia’s unique driving conditions, making it an ideal choice for those looking for a reliable and durable SUV that can handle the rigors of the Australian landscape.
Models are expected to land in dealerships soon as the official launch program commences this week.