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The rally-spec Mahindra XUV300 has been revealed ahead of the start of the 2019 Indian National Rally Championship. Mahindra will be fielding both petrol and diesel-powered versions of the XUV300 in the championship that is set to start this week.
The XUV300 has been brought in as a replacement for the Super XUV500 that was used by the Mahindra rally team for several years now. Mahindra has been fielding the Super XUV500 in the rallying world for several years now and have dominated almost all rallies the team entered in.
However, the smaller and lighter XUV300 is expected to be more nimble and agile. All hopes are now riding on the greater power-to-weight ratio that the rally-prepped XUV300 brings to the table.
Rallying aces Gaurav Gill and Amittrajit Ghosh will be piloting the petrol and diesel variants of the XUV300 rally car respectively. The cars have been prepped by Arka motorsport and have been given all the rally car essentials.
Sirish Chandran, a senior automotive journalist posted images of the rally-spec car. On the outside, the rally XUV300 sports a black paint job with attractive silver and orange decals. It also comes with forged alloy wheels for better strength and rigidity to handle rough terrain at high speed.
Gaurav Gill's association with JK Tyres sees his car running tyres from the same brand while Amittrajit Ghosh's car will run on MRF tyres. The rally-spec XUV300 also rides on upgraded suspension. The interiors of the car have been stripped out and a proper rally-spec roll-cage has been fitted.
The car also sports racing seats with four-point racing seatbelts, rally spec handbrake to get those scandinavian flicks right, a race steering wheel, aluminium control pedals and a stripped out floor.
Both cars have successfully completed the first shakedown at Coimbatore and are prepared to take on the first round of the Indian National Rally Championship at Chennai on 28 June, 2019. Both cars use the same drivetrain as the stock cars sold in the Indian market albeit with a few modifications.
The diesel-powered rally XUV300 uses the same 1.5-litre turbo-diesel engine and according to reports, it just required an engine remap to produce rally-level power outputs. Of course, it now has a throaty custom exhaust system. The petrol motor on the other hand needed quite a few changes to bring it to rally-spec.
The engine in the road-going car is a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder, turbo-petrol motor. The rally car though gets a bigger turbocharger, a bigger intake system, a custom exhaust system and a few other changes. The power output figures of the rally-spec cars have not been revealed yet. The exact specifications of the cars would be put out for the world over the coming weeks, probably after the first round of INRC.
Thoughts On Rally-Spec Mahindra XUV300 Revealed For 2019 INRC Season
Mahindra has been dominating its class in the INRC for a few years now with the Super Thar and Super XUV500. The XUV300 will replace the Super XUV500, but it remains to be seen how it will perform in comparison.
The rally-spec XUV300 will be nimbler, lighter and therefore easier to handle, but it is front-wheel-driven while the heavier Super XUV500 was all-wheel-driven. So, it is too early to judge if this will be quicker than the car it replaces. But we can say for sure that it will be as quick as the Super XUV500.