Strong & sturdy

K Shivraj
Sunday, 17 December 2017

2017 Mahindra Scorpio may not look drastically different from the earlier model but with its linear power delivery and increased thrust, it is now more capable and driveable

Mahindra has launched a new Scorpio, which is more powerful than the one it replaces. The 2.2-litre mHawk common-rail turbo-diesel engine has been tweaked to produce 140bhp and 320Nm of peak torque when compared to the earlier model’s 120bhp and 280Nm of peak torque. Claimed to have been effected to enhance the vehicle’s top-end performance, the need for which was felt during highway drives and when overtaking at highway speeds, the new Scorpio has also been laced with other cosmetic and functional tweaks.

Cosmetic changes
The cosmetic and functional tweaks don’t drastically change the looks of the SUV, but it looks contemporary. Up front, the new Scorpio gets a grille that may look like the earlier model, but now contains well-marked seven slats when compared to the blade-like chrome slats of the previous one. The bumper has been redesigned, and gets new fog lamps and a new skid plate. If the projector head lamps have been tweaked, the door mirrors come with in-built turn indicators. The sides experiencing almost no change except for the repositioning of the turn indicators, the SUV, at the rear, gets a new tailgate. The tailgate looks clean and uncluttered in visual terms, and the tail lamps have been mildly modified and go well with the rest of the form.

Few new features
The new Scorpio’s interior features include dark grey imitation leather seat upholstery with a dark blue weave pattern. The gear lever and the steering wheel also come wrapped in the same imitation leather. In terms of the overall layout or design, the cabin sees no big change from the earlier model. An improvement in the quality of trim parts is visible, there are however parts that could do with even better quality. Available with airbags and ABS on all variants except the base S3, the new SUV is equipped with dynamic parking (reverse) camera, delayed operation power windows post engine shut down, auto roll-up driver’s window upon the operation of vehicle lock, mobile phone holder near the gear lever, sunglasses holder adjacent to the rear-view mirror, touchscreen infotainment system that fails to feature Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, micro-hybrid technology, tyre pressure monitoring system, rain-sensing wiper and automatic head lamps.

Feels energetic
The commanding and comfortable driving position of the SUV offers a good view ahead. The inclusion of a new turbocharger leads to a noticeable change in the way the SUV responds from the word go. The new Scorpio feels more energetic with the peak torque of 320Nm coming in at a little over 1500rpm. The flow of torque feels strong and lasts way up to 3500rpm. Beyond 3500rpm, the loss in thrust is apparent and the engine too starts to feel a bit strained. With a noticeable change in how the SUV accelerates from standstill, a stronger mid-range supply marks the highlight. The mid-range delivery has got better and stronger. If this has had an effect on the vehicle’s ability to do highway runs and overtake at highway speeds, the addition of one gear (the Scorpio now comes with a six-speed transmission), has ensured that the jump in performance is well balanced in terms of driveability and fuel efficiency. Supplied until now on some of the export models, the six-speed gearbox offers better shift quality when compared to that of the earlier five-speed unit. Clutch operation is claimed to have been improved, and feels a bit lighter, however, it could do with less travel of the pedal. Feeling more refined, and a noticeable improvement in the cabin noise, the new Scorpio has seen an improvement in the braking system.

Verdict
Priced upwards of Rs 12.99 lakh ex-showroom Delhi, the new Scorpio isn’t the most value for money offering in the segment. Positioned close to its very own XUV500, the new SUV is not the most spacious. It may be laden with features, but still is not perfect. A body bolted to the frame SUV, which could be had with a 4WD, the new Scorpio profits most from the jump in power. The new six-speed transmission complements the vehicle’s ability to seek a better balance between performance and efficiency. More enjoyable on the highway now with its linear power delivery and an increased thrust, the new Scorpio, without sacrificing its butch stance, is now more capable and driveable.

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