The compact SUV space is getting more and more entrants by the month. It is now a perfectly level playing field and every single carmaker wants to grab a slice of this pie. Mahindra, too, realised this and responded by launching the NuvoSport, TUV300 and the KUV100. While none of these were runaway hits, Mahindra isn’t the one to lose heart. Instead, it is trying to reinvigorate its portfolio by bringing in a sub 4-metre version of the Bolero (code name: U108) which we will call Bolero Mini for now (For all we know, this might be the official name too). Ever since it was launched, the Bolero has been the highest selling SUV on most occasions, but no more. It regularly featured in the top 10 selling cars in India for many months.
And it will actually drive sales if Mahindra can capitalise on the Bolero’s brand value with the Bolero Mini. As far as engines are concerned, Mahindra will make use of its 1.5-litre mHawk diesel engine, which is already in use on the TUV300 and the NuvoSport. At present, this engine makes 100bhp and 240Nm of torque, but might be detuned by 30bhp or so in order to focus on efficiency. Also, the mHawk engine will help lighten the kerb weight as it is comparatively lighter than the 2.5-litre engine on the Normal Bolero. The overall length has been shortened by 170mm or thereabouts, thanks to newly designed bumpers which reduce overhangs. Surprisingly, the wheelbase is said to remain the same. The features and equipment are also said to be similar to the original Bolero. There might be jump seats offered on the Bolero Mini so as to accommodate 7 passengers similar to the NuvoSport and the TUV300.
Expect Mahindra to price the Bolero Mini aggressively so as to get a good start in the compact SUV segment and in the rural areas as well, which is the biggest market for the Bolero. There is no word from Mahindra on the launch date of the Bolero Mini yet, so we will have to wait and watch.