Mahindra to unveil Bolero-like Supro U301 Thursday

MAHINDRA-supro-u301Mahindra & Mahindra, India’s biggest SUV maker, is all set to unveil its latest creation, the mystery SUV known by the code name U301 and widely speculated to carry the name Supro.

The vehicle will be unveiled on Thursday, July 30, at 12 pm.

The Supro U301 has been seen multiple times on the road and has been reported by many as looking a bit like a high-end Sumo in terms of proportions. Let’s hope that in terms of looks and refinement, it does better than the Sumo.

The U301 was initially supposed to be a successor to the Bolero, but some reports claim that the Mahindra management have decided the two were distinct enough to be maintained in parallel.

Mahindra has brought out some odd-looking SUVs, particularly the Quanto, which looks a bit like it’s missing some parts from the backside. However, going by the shapes of the test vehicles, the U301 seems decently proportioned.

But if you think it’s going to look like yet another SUV, you’re in for a surprise. The U301 is a cross between the SUV shape (think the Mahindra Xylo) and the ‘Jeep’ shape (think of the Scorpio and Bolero.)

The SUV U301 will be wider than the Sumo, and is supposed to fit the ‘compact SUV’ market. It’s length is supposed to be less than 4 meters, which will help keep taxes, and prices, low.

However, the biggest attraction of the U301 will be its price. It’s supposed to be priced below the Scorpio, whose price starts at around Rs 10 lakhs on road.

If the U301 manages to be similarly priced as the Quanto (starting around Rs 8.2 lakhs on road), then we do have some serious competition for the entry-level SUV market.

However, one of the things to be kept in mind is that the person who would buy an Ertiga is not the guy who is going to be the target consumer for the Mahindra U301. The U301 will look rough, and less refined, compared to the soft looks of an Ertiga, or even the Ford EcoSport, which is why we initially called it a cross between an SUV and a Scorpio.

Many consider the Scorpio to be too ‘untamed’ for domestic use (in terms of looks) and the U301 will continue to exhibit that non-domestic look.