M&M has launched its latest product into the market – the Mahindra Bolero Neo subcompact SUV. Prices for the new offering start at ₹ 8.48 lakh for the N4 variant, going up to ₹ 9.99 lakh (ex-showroom India, introductory) for the N10 variant. There’s also a top spec N10 (O) trim but prices are yet to be revealed. The new model effectively replaces the Mahindra TUV300 and builds on the blockbuster Bolero brand name that has served Mahindra strongly over the past two decades. Yes, the Bolero brand completes 20 years in India with over 1.3 million units sold so far. The strategy with the Mahindra Bolero Neo is simple – to tap into the huge base that the Bolero nameplate has created, and offer a more modern interpretation for a younger, upwardly mobile consumer. The car picks up strengths of the TUV300 like a well-received interior, roomy cabin, etc. and adds on Bolero styling cues, and also incorporates a lot of customer feedback according to the company.
Veejay Nakra, CEO-Automotive Division, M&M told us, “We made a lot of changes to bring the ‘Bolero-ness’. And that combination of the classic 3G platform which goes into Scorpio, which goes into Thar, which went into the TUV, with the Mahindra well-respected mHawk engine – and that was the genesis of creating the Bolero Neo.”
The Mahindra Bolero Neo is a sub-4 metre car and is a 2WD only model. Yet it offers what Mahindra calls ‘multi-terrain technology’ – with a limited-slip differential to limit the loss of traction – and a first for the Bolero range. The Bolero Neo gets the Mahindra Bolero’s characteristic side cladding, square hooded headlamps, rectangular wheel arches, a lowered hood and. Even the overall body has been lowered compared to the TUV300 to offer better ingress and egress. Colour choices include Napoli Black, Majestic Silver, Highway Red, Pearl White, Diamond White and Rocky Beige.
The interior is redone with a new palette and there is a more appealing connectivity and infotainment interface. More appealing to the younger Tier II or III buyer that Mahindra is targeting with this vehicle. Mahindra is very clear about who the potential buyers are for the Bolero Neo. It is positioning the car to attract a lot of younger male and female buyers who want the robustness of an SUV but want the sophistication of a modern product too.
“The consumer wants the tough iconic design, but also wants cool and trendy. It takes care of the needs of technology, need of good high-quality finish interiors, and it’s always been comfortable and spacious.” says Nakra.
The Bolero Neo is being offered with only one drivetrain at the outset. The familiar mHawk 3-cylinder motor that we saw in the TUV 300 – has been updated. The motor develops 100 bhp and 260 Nm from the engine. The Mahindra Bolero Neo will be 5-speed manual only for now, though an automatic could be considered subsequently. Other variants like a longer variant are also on the cards. It will sell alongside the existing Bolero, and both models will therefore co-exist. Mahindra’s big worry remains the supply chain issues plaguing the auto sector for some months now – specifically the global semiconductor shortage.
|Displacement||1493 cc 3-Cylinder|
|Max Power||100 bhp @ 3750 rpm|
|Peak Torque||260 Nm @ 1750-2250 rpm|
Nakra says the company is trying hard to make good on the demand being seen – as it also gears up for the impending introductions of the new XUV 700 and next-generation Scorpio. Nakra remains optimistic, saying, “We are seeing phenomenal response in bookings continuing for the Thar, XUV300, Scorpio, and a lot of early good response on Bolero Neo. And yes getting ready for our next few launches after that. The SUV and personal vehicle space is back after the second wave of Covid. By the time we get to the festive season, the industry will be back to stronger than what it was at this time last year.”