Mahindra ‘W4’ XUV500 coming soon as entry-level variant?
According to reports, Mahindra is working on a lower-spec version of its popular XUV500 SUV. Likely to be called the W4, it is expected to be identical mechanically and styling wise to its older siblings, the W6 and W8. However unlike the W8, it will be 2WD only. The W4 will get a more basic infotainment system and an air-con unit without automatic climate control, and will do away with convenience features like rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlamps.
Even though the W4 has been finalised internally, Mahindra has not yet green-lighted this new variant for showrooms. Reportedly Mahindra is waiting to see if new, modified W6 and W8 variants can increase their sales again. The W6 and W8 will now be sold with lesser ground clearance. As a result of the SUV taxes introduced in the 2013 Union Budget, the prices for these models will be lower than current prices as well. Mahindra is looking at a target of about 3,000 units a month, and if it can meet this with the existing models alone, the W4 will be kept on hold.
Sales of the XUV500 have slowly dipped over the last few months. After the new SUV taxes introduced in the budget, the Mahindra XUV500’s prices went up, and the cheaper Renault Duster and Ford EcoSport stole some of its market. With the lowering of the ground clearance, and/or the launch of the smaller W4, the XUV500 may still have a future in the mainstream SUV market.