The Long Wheelbase version of Mahindra's battle tank has been spotted testing yet again. No, Mahindra does not manufacture actual battle tanks, but lovingly call their TUV300 that, since its design has apparently drawn inspiration from a battle tank (not sure which one). The SUV we are referring to here is the TUV500, called by some as TUV300XL. Well, to be fair, the name has not been finalised.
The TUV500 is the same as the Mahindra TUV300 currently on sale right now, but is longer and can seat more in comfort, staying true to Mahindra's utility vehicle manufacturer image. The TUV300 was intended to be the successor to the Mahindra Bolero, but wasn't able to do that job in its true sense as the Bolero was more focused towards the utilitarian side.
Now though, once the TUV500 seems fit to do the job. The TUV500 has been spotted testing several times before, but the rear portion has always been concealed, Mahindra not wanting to showcase the interiors of the rear portion of the TUV500 before the official launch, but the seats in the rear are expected to be forward facing.
The Interiors in the front and mid-portion is expected to remain the same as in the TUV300, but since Mahindra is positioning it higher than the TUV300, it would most probably get more features as well. A dual-tone interior scheme with black and beige complements the piano black centre console, which houses an infotainment display. The SUV will also feature a multi-function steering wheel.
The TUV500 will be powered by the same 1.5-litre mHawk80 diesel engine as the TUV300. With a peak power output of 100bhp @3,750rpm and peak torque output of 240 Nm torque between 1,600 - 2,800rpm. The engine seems to have enough grunt for the TUV300, but Mahindra will probably have to tune up the engine to produce a higher power output. The engine would be mated to a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed autoSHIFT AMT gearbox.
The TUV500 was spotted testing alongside Mahindra's much awaited MPV codenamed U321, which would compete against the Toyota Innova Crysta. The TUV500 is expected to be launched sometime in the festive season.
The TUV500 looks like a proper replacement for the Mahindra Bolero, and would be really great if Mahindra provided 4WD as an option. The high ground clearance, and butch, boxy SUV looks would be perfectly complemented with a 4WD system. But would the current FWD layout on the Mahindra TUV300 support 4WD? Well, we'd leave that to Mahindra.