Now that’s one smart move. Mahindra is planning to introduce the new SsangYong Rexton as a Mahindra branded model. Just one look at the strategy, and you know that’s the right way to go about it. With the Mahindra Rexton, the Indian carmaker instantly benefits, without having to bear the pain of handling the complexities of handling a separate brand. Not that Mahindra didn’t try going that way, and didn’t fail at it, but this one is a smart Indian company, it learns quickly from its mistakes and rectifies in a fair amount of time.
By Introducing the Rexton as the flagship Mahindra SUV, Mahindra will have a great new product to boast of in its product lineup, which will be a reasonably capable contender to the segment-defining models like the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour. It will lift Mahindra’s brand image, and would also offer buyers a more economical option in the premium SUV segment, where the current options are tad too expesnive.
The SsangYong, nay, Mahindra Rexton will make its India debut at the 2018 Auto Expo. The Indian specific Mahindra branded Rexton will essentially be the same car as the one that sells internationally. However, this one will get some small cosmetic changes to make it look like a proper Mahindra car. The radiator grille, obviously will get the Mahindra family treatment. In addition, expect the Ssangyong branding to be removed wherever it’s visible, and few small changes here and there to suit the Indian taste and preferences better.
In terms of features, expect the Rexton to be slightly stripped down from its fully loaded international version, which is quite well equipped. Mahindra vehicles boast of price as one of their biggest USPs and the Indian maker would want the Rexton to be available at a substantially lower price point as compared to its American and Japanese rivals. Expect the Mahindra Rexton to undercut its rivals by Rs 4-5 lakh variant to variant.
The international version of the Rexton comes loaded with stuff like projector headlamps, a large hi-resolution central touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, another screen as the instrument console, a hi-end 360 degree camera, leather upholstery, ventilated seats and a power tailgate. Mahindra is expected to bring that equipment list down in line with the other segment offerings, or at least offer watered down variants which are more economical to buy.
The Rexton is a reasonably capable SUV with a fair amount of off-roading capability. The car comes with a body on ladder frame setup and a capable 4×4 system. Powering the international version of the Rexton is a 2.2-litre diesel engine with peak power of 187hp and 420Nm of peak torque. The powerplant is mated to a 7-speed auto transmission.
Expect the Mahindra Rexton to be launched by the end of 2018, closer to the festive season.