M Id 485332 Mahindra Scorpio

More muscular, more comfortable, more refined, new Scorpio comes across as more value-for-money…

A FEW years ago I met a Canada-returned Punjabi who wanted to buy a car for his planned two-year India stay. Having driven some of North America’s most powerful SUVs, he wanted something similar, but within his budget of R10 lakh. Since there was none, he went to a Mahindra showroom and bought the Scorpio. “It may not be as powerful as the SUVs I am used to, but it befits my towering frame and looks good in my parking lot,” he said. Mighty and muscular, that’s what the Scorpio has been, and that’s how Mahindra has been marketing its constant money-spinner for 12 years. The SUV, which has received multiple updates over its lifetime, has now been relaunched in a new avatar and in five variants—S2 to S10*. We find out what exactly is new and what has been carried over.
The new front styling makes the Scorpio look leaner and more dynamic. Dual projector headlamps with LED eyebrows and the new chrome grille give the Scorpio an aggressive stance. The massive bonnet scoop not only looks imposing but is functional too—its ‘low-drag intake’ design lets in air to the intercooler, which increases engine performance. And the tough new bumpers make the new Scorpio look like a predator.
From the sides it carries over its old design, the only change being the new alloy wheels. As in the previous version, there is a side cladding that protects the body from dents by absorbing minor impacts. At the rear, it gets a two-tone arrangement—regardless of the body colour, there is a large matt black panel on the rear door. Here I must add that I showed the new Scorpio to five people who have been previous-generation Scorpio customers and while everyone loved the front, all found the rear to be a bit tacky, a bit aftermarket. The rear, clearly, has a love-me-or-hate-me look. Overall, there is much attention to detail—the way the front bumper neatly integrates itself with the front wheel arch signifies that the Scorpio has come of age.
The biggest change, however, is under the body. The new Scorpio has been developed on the modular W105 platform, on which both extended wheelbase and sub-4 metre vehicles can be developed. In fact, many future Mahindra body-on-frame products could be made on this W105 platform.
The cabin, as expected, is souped-up. While the multi-functional steering wheel is similar to the one in the XUV500,