Mahindra is readying two variants of the SsangYong Tivoli-based SUV which will launch in India by the middle of next year. While one variant will be a sub-four-metre compact SUV with seating for five, the other will be a stretched variant with a third row of seats, making it a seven-seater. The Indian SUV-maker believes that there is a large market for seven-seat SUVs that does not overlap with that of five-seaters.
Currently, Mahindra-owned SsangYong Motor Company sells two variants of the Tivoli, internationally, in standard and XLV guises. The latter is slightly longer than the standard Tivoli and gets 238mm added in terms of rear overhang, but it is used for a significant increase in boot space instead of seating capacity. For India, however, this increase in interior room could make way for an extra pair of seats in the third row, making for a 5+2 seating arrangement.
The smaller SUV (S201) is essentially a modified version of the SsangYong Tivoli which has been shortened to a length of less than four metres to benefit from the tax concessions given to cars under four metres in length. While this variant is expected to take on Tata’s Nexon and Maruti’s Brezza, the longer variant will square up against the Hyundai Creta and the Renault Duster. The underpinnings and most of the interior bits for both SUVs will be carried over from the Tivoli, but the design, especially the front grille, has been tweaked to give it the look of a Mahindra and not SsangYong. Powering both these SUVs will be either a 1.2-litre, direct-injection turbo-petrol or a 1.5-litre turbo-diesel which Mahindra claims will have best-in-class performance.