Love it or hate it, there’s a reason the Mahindra’s Scorpio been around for this long. Owners vouch for the undeniable amount of space it offers, or the punchy mHawk engine being adequate for most of what’s asked of it, or how it’s imposing and butch to look at and how that’s important to them because, well, egos.
Now, though, there’s a new Scorpio, one that Mahindra reckons is better in every way yet embodies all that made it a huge success in the first place. Let’s dig deeper, shall we?
By The Looks Of It
Mahindra’s designers deserve a big pat on the back for the changes made up front, improving upon what used to be a rather bulbous car earlier. Those chunky, dual projector headlights (very reminiscent of the Dodge Charger) with LEDs go well with the eight-slat grille and fog-lights. The alloys are new as well, up to 17-inch wheels (235/65) from the previous 16-inchers.
What, though, happened at the rear? While Mahindra has done well to get rid of the unnecessarily long strip of reflectors above the tail-lamps, it still looks like there’s too much happening in too small a space.
That aside, what’s undeniably a good step up is the treatment Mahindra’s given the new Scorpio’s cabin – the entire setup now fits so much better and looks far, far better. A new dash, a central console with a 6-inch touchscreen system with GPS, automatic climate control, and even the instrument cluster look like Mahindra’s put some serious thought into it, and it shows. A blue backlit theme takes centre-stage, and the grey seats accompanying it make it a worthy combination.
More than anything else, though, the thing that struck me as most impressive was the driving experience. There aren’t any changes to the engine per se — the 2.2-litre, 4-cylinder mHawk VGT still chugs away under the bonnet, making 120 bhp and 28.5 kgm, and it’s a very good mill at that. Power delivery is clean and the turbo lag’s not really noticeable – what’s really impressive is how it rides and handles.
The new chassis has given the Scorpio so much more agility, and the ride will simply stun you. Poke it hard into corners and there’s an obvious amount of body roll, but that’s to be expected of something that weighs in excess of 2.5 tonnes. Simply don’t poke it unnecessarily hard into corners if you don’t want it to get unsettled. Moving on, the 5-speed manual (pinched from the Xylo) isn’t the smoothest to use, but it’s a huge step up nonetheless.
The Scorpio comes in six trims — S2, S4, S6, S6+, S8 and S10. Only the S2 will get the 2.5-litre m2DICR 4-cylinder engine, while the rest will get the aforementioned mHawk 2.2.
To buy, or not to buy
That really is the question, isn’t it? Be it the re-done exterior, the new chassis, the brilliant ride and the spruced up interior, it’s a job well done, certainly. For now, the prices of Rs 7.98 lakh for the base S2 to Rs 12.55 lakh for the 4WD S10 (both ex-showroom, Mumbai) are pretty neat.The bigger point here, however, is that the Scorpio now represents a huge step up, and is now much more likeable and enjoyable in its new avatar. And with Mahindra pricing it well, it should get back to selling in the massive numbers it once did.