Early last week, Mahindra announced that the replacement for the XUV500 will be known as the XUV700 in India. The announcement came very strategically on the same day as Hyundai revealed the Alcazar 7-seater SUV that draws the attention of potential customers to the fact that another model in the same segment will be launched shortly. This upcoming three-row midsize SUV, internally codenamed W601, has been touted as the next generation Mahindra XUV500. However, the new name ‘XUV700’ confirms that the upcoming model will be positioned over the current XUV500. That brings us to the question: What does the nameplate “XUV500” mean after the debut of the XUV700?
Well, Mahindra recently announced on Twitter that the XUV500 nameplate will be “temporarily” discontinued after the XUV700 has been launched. The current generation XUV500 has been on the market for 10 years and is now showing its age in the face of new competition from companies like Tata Harrier and Hyundai Creta. However, the word “temporary” indicates that the XUV500 nameplate may be returned as a two-line derivative of the XUV700. It is then used perfectly as a compact SUV between the smaller ones XUV300 and the larger XUV700.
With the new nameplate, Mahindra seems to be following the latest trend in the SUV segment of three-row derivatives of C-segment SUVs, which is just the other way around. Unlike other seven-seat SUVs, which are a derivative of their smaller five-seat sibling, the new XUV500 will be a smaller derivative of its larger sibling. It could therefore be based on the same W601 modular monocoque platform, albeit in a smaller size. Like the Harrier-based safari and the Creta-based AlcazarThe new XUV500 could take inspiration from the larger XUV700 and still have its own identity.
As for that Mahindra XUV700This will mean a huge departure from the current generation XUV500. It will be significantly larger than the current generation XUV500 in terms of both length and width. Mahindra has also confirmed that it will be offered with both gasoline and diesel engines, as well as manual and automatic transmission options. Hardcore SUV lovers will be delighted that the XUV700 will even be equipped with all-wheel drive. The XUV500 could be offered with the same engine options, albeit in worse shape. The all-wheel drive system is also likely to be left out to keep costs in check.
The new XUV500 could also share much of the interior design and features with the XUV700, including the Mercedes-Similar dual screens for the instrument panel and infotainment system, as well as Level 1 ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) technology. The price could be around 12 lakh INR (ex showroom) and is expected to come back much stronger to tackle the highly competitive compact SUV segment.