Mahindra has finally revealed that the replacement for the Quanto will be called the ‘NuvoSport’. The sub-4 metre compact SUV will be launched on April 04, 2016. Let us take a quick look at what the NuvoSport could bring to the table and how it will impact its rivals.
Mahindra knows the SUV market well. It has the Scorpio, the XUV500 and the TUV300 in its line-up, which have been doing decent business for a while. The automaker recently launched the KUV100, which is again marketed as a micro-SUV. This expertise of the company reflects well in the NuvoSport. The front of the car looks quite aggressive, which is pretty different from Mahindra’s existing products. A line of daytime running lights placed over the headlamps looks particularly stunning and give the car a very sporty look. The black applique on the bumper and the silver skid plate further enhance the overall appeal of the car.
However, Mahindra hasn’t altered the rear profile. It remains largely the same as its predecessor. The NuvoSport is based on the same, proven platform of the Scorpio.
The NuvoSport is likely to feature a petrol as well as a diesel engine option. Mahindra may use the same 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine that powers the KUV100. The engine generates 82bhp of power and 115Nm of torque. Mahindra will look at capitalizing on the fact that the Vitara Brezza offers only a diesel motor at the moment. The only other petrol motor in the segment is in the engine bay of the Ford Ecosport. The diesel mill, on the other hand, will either be the mCR100 1.5-litre motor from the Quanto, or the mHawk80 1.5-litre employed in the TUV300. While the former gives advantage in power delivery (it produces 100bhp as compared to TUV300’s 84bhp), the latter has improved mileage figures (18.49 kmpl as compared to 17.21 of Quanto). Considering that the competition consists of powerful diesels such as the 100bhp Ford EcoSport and the 89bhp Maruti Vitara Brezza, we think that the mCR100 engine might be a better fit for the NuvoSport.
The to-be-launched SUV will be offered with a 5-speed manual as well as a 5-speed automatic gearbox. Just like the TUV300, the NuvoSport is expected to get an AMT mated to the diesel engine as well. This is going to give the NuvoSport an edge over theBrezza and the EcoSport, which are yet to be offered with automatic transmissions paired to a diesel engine.
Expect the NuvoSport to be offered with a standard driver airbag and an optional passenger airbag. Anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) are sure to come in the top-end variants and might appear in the base as well. This is comparable with the EcoSport and the Brezza where all these features start coming from the second variant. The NuvoSport has also followed the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP) safety norms, which further increases the safety level of the car.
One aspect which is yet to be seen is the interiors of the car. If Mahindra is able to plan them well while not losing the control over pricing, it can be the second consecutive successful product from Mahindra’s portfolio after the KUV100.
Coming to the most important factor, the carmaker has hinted that with the NuvoSport in the line-up, it will serve all the customers looking for a car between Rs. 4.5 lakh and 25 lakh. Given the size and styling of the to-be-launched product, we expect the NuvoSport petrol to be priced somewhere around Rs. 5.5 lakh (ex-showroom). Prices for the diesel NuvoSport are likely to start at around Rs. 6.5 lakh. This way, it fills the gap between the KUV100 and TUV300 in Mahindra’s portfolio.
6. Impact on Competitors
Placing the car below the TUV300 might open a new set of problems for the company. Though the car will be a bigger headache to Maruti’s latest offering, the Brezza, and the Ford EcoSport, it is quite probable that the NuvoSport will end up eating into the sales of the TUV300 as well. The biggest asset of the TUV300 is that it is offered with the automatic transmission. In fact, there was a time when, out of every two TUV300s sold, one was the automatic. With the NuvoSport offering the AMT as well, sales of the TUV300 are likely to take a hit. If this happens, it will be similar to the story of Maruti launching the Baleno to counter the i20 but ending up in a situation where the sales of the Swift were also affected.