Mahindra has lastly revealed its first all-electric SUV that can tackle the Nexon EV Max; we take it for a spin to offer you our first impressions.
After an enormous bang showcase of its electrical future within the UK final month, Mahindra unveiled its electrical current in Chennai with the reveal of the long-awaited XUV400. It’s a major mannequin for the corporate for a number of causes. Firstly, it’s the primary electrical SUV from the corporate, which, over the previous three years, has turn into laser-focused on the SUV phase and nothing else. After years of speaking electrical and, in actual fact, taking an early lead within the EV house (with the Reva), which it misplaced equally rapidly, the XUV400 is lastly the stroll of the corporate’s EV speak. Besides that it’s not a stroll however a dash to meet up with Tata Motors, which has sped far forward within the EV race. The XUV400 goes squarely up towards the Nexon EV, the bestselling EV out there immediately, however can Mahindra’s late-to-the-party EV thwart arch-rival Tata Motors’ virtually unopposed dream run?
Mahindra XUV400 EV: exterior
The XUV400 will not be a ‘born electrical’ EV and relies on the XUV300 in the identical approach the Nexon EV relies on the IC engine-powered Nexon, however it has one trick up its sleeve – measurement. Not like the Nexon, which was initially conceived as a sub-4m compact SUV, the XUV300 is derived from the SsangYong Tivoli and was really downsized to underneath Four metres in size to benefit from the decrease tax for the class. Nevertheless, with no profit to be gained from a sub-4m size (all EVs appeal to a flat 5 p.c GST), Mahindra cleverly reverted to the Tivoli’s unique 4.2m size with the XUV400.
The Mahindra XUV400 EV is 205mm longer than the ICE-powered XUV300 it is based mostly on.
This has two massive benefits, firstly, it addresses one of many XUV300’s largest weaknesses – the poor 257 litres of bags house. There shouldn’t be complaints of bags carrying capability now within the XUV400, which has a boot enlarged to a helpful 378 litres. The additional size has additionally given Mahindra an higher hand within the positioning of the XUV400. This 4.2m-long SUV is technically not a compact SUV however a measurement above, into the Creta-dominated midsize SUV phase, and nearer to the costlier MG ZS EV and Hyundai Kona Electrical.
The XUV400 EV retains the identical 16-inch alloy wheels because the XUV300.
Not like the truncated rear of the XUV300, the XUV400 has higher proportions and appears extra balanced too. Lengthening the XUV400 has resulted in an all-new tailgate, although the design and the tail-light cluster are just like the XUV300’s and that’s no dangerous factor. Just like the XUV300, the XUV400 has the identical muscular stance and, aside from the rear part, is similar to its petrol counterpart, as each share the identical doorways, glasses and bonnet. Nevertheless, the XUV400 is properly differentiated as an EV with a brand new bumper, a blanked-out grille and an overdose of copper-coloured accents. The logos, the badging, and accents on the grille and bumpers are all completed in copper, which the corporate says is the signature color for its EVs going ahead.
Mahindra XUV400 EV: inside
The copper theme is carried into the inside as properly, with bits just like the rotary knobs for the amount and aircon, the air vents and kit lever surrounds, and, after all, the ‘twin-peaks’ emblem on the steering completed in copper. It’s a bit overdone and a contact ‘blingy’ however drives residence the purpose that this can be a Mahindra EV.
Analogue dials with a brand new EV pores and skin for the XUV400.
The remainder of the cabin doesn’t fairly try this and it’s an XUV300 by means of and thru. This implies you get a reasonably outdated-looking sprint with a small 7.0-inch infotainment display, analogue dials (with a brand new pores and skin for the EV variant), and old school buttons and knobs. After the XUV700’s and Scorpio’s state-of-the-art infotainment, the XUV400’s system is a step-down, with poor graphics and a display that picks up lots of reflections, as does the instrument cluster.
Small 7.0-inch touchscreen has poor graphics and picks up numerous reflections.
Connectivity has been given an enormous step-up within the XUV400, because it will get Mahindra’s BlueSense Plus know-how, which comes with a collection of 60 options, together with a number of remotely-operated features like checking vary and activating local weather management. Cupboard space isn’t that nice and although you get beneficiant door bins and a fairly sized glovebox, there’s no correct place to retailer your telephone and no wi-fi charging pad both.
The XUV400 EV presents nice cabin house which feels a category above the Nexon.
In comparison with the XUV300, there’s a good bit of apparatus that’s lacking. There aren’t any entrance fog lamps, dual-zone AC, rear AC vents and entrance parking sensors, amongst different bits.
The place the XUV400 scores is with cabin house, and it’s right here that it feels a category larger than the Nexon. There’s a great quantity of legroom and headroom throughout, and the cabin is vast sufficient for 3.
Massive cabin has good headroom and legroom and is vast sufficient for 3 passengers.
To accommodate the battery, Mahindra has cleverly raised the ground solely underneath the centre console and the center passenger part, leaving the skin ends of the cabin virtually untouched. In consequence, your ft aren’t pushed up as a result of a excessive ground like in different EVs and your seating posture isn’t compromised. General, the XUV400’s cabin is extraordinarily comfy, although, on this sweltering scorching day outdoors Chennai, we missed not having rear air-con vents.
Mahindra XUV400 EV: powertrain and efficiency
Attending to the center of the XUV400, which is the electrical powertrain, Mahindra has specced it fairly competitively. A single electrical motor producing a aggressive 150hp and 310Nm of torque drives the entrance wheels. Energy comes from a 39.4kWh battery, which the corporate claims is sweet for a spread of 456km within the official check cycle. The NMC battery pack, sourced from LG Chem in Korea, is an older-generation chemistry (5.3.2) and Mahindra engineers have needed to stability energy and vary.
39.4kWh battery pack presents a claimed vary of 456km (MIDC).
The electrical motor, controllers and battery administration system come from Valeo and provide a degree of refinement that’s astonishingly good. There may be minimal motor hum or whine, and the general insulation of the XUV400 too helps preserve the cabin whisper-quiet. Mahindra engines are identified for his or her class-leading refinement and now its first EV has impressively low NVH ranges too.
The XUV400 comes with three drive modes, cheesily named – Enjoyable, Quick and Fearless – and the instrument cluster takes on a special hue for every mode. Let’s begin Fearless, probably the most aggressive one, which, with no traction management, is tough to make use of.
Straight-line efficiency in Fearless mode could be very robust.
All that on the spot torque is tough to place down and there’s an alarming quantity of wheelspin, which on a light bend is alarming with the understeer that outcomes from it. However worry not of Fearless mode as a result of Mahindra’s engineers have assured us that traction management (not but prepared for our media drive) shall be commonplace on the XUV400 when it goes on sale. And that’s essential, as a result of with out it the XUV400 could be tough to drive, particularly within the moist.
The XUV400 EV achieved a prime velocity of 160kph, making it the quickest SUV in its class.
Straight-line efficiency in Fearless mode could be very robust and in a tough acceleration check, regardless of large wheelspin, we managed a 0-100kph time of 8.7sec which is 0.7sec sooner than the Nexon EV Max (9.4sec). The XUV400 nudged 160kph on the high-speed observe and Mahindra’s proving floor, once more making it the quickest SUV in its class regardless of its reasonably heavy 1,578kg kerb weight. The load penalty is prone to be felt extra in vary, and the most important problem for Mahindra has been to finely stability efficiency and vary, particularly with the NMC532 battery pack, which doesn’t have the vitality effectivity of extra fashionable chemistries.
|Mahindra XUV400 EV efficiency|
|Acceleration (from relaxation)||Enjoyable mode||Quick mode||Fearless mode|
|0-10kph||0.90 sec||0.74 sec||0.72 sec|
|0-20kph||1.66 sec||1.43 sec||1.40 sec|
|0-30kph||2.41 sec||2.1 sec||2.08 sec|
|0-40kph||3.18 sec||2.79 sec||2.76 sec|
|0-50kph||3.95 sec||3.5 sec||3.46 sec|
|0-60kph||4.85 sec||4.29 sec||4.23 sec|
|0-70kph||5.91 sec||5.24 sec||5.15 sec|
|0-80kph||7.15 sec||6.35 sec||6.18 sec|
|0-90kph||10.52 sec||7.69 sec||7.36 sec|
|0-100kph||–||9.24 sec||8.74 sec|
|0-110kph||–||11.06 sec||10.38 sec|
In Quick mode, there’s a definite drop in efficiency and the corresponding 0-100kph time is a slower 9.24sec. In Enjoyable mode, it is slower nonetheless, and we couldn’t even hit 100kph as a result of prime velocity is restricted to 92kph. What we like is that you would be able to distinctly really feel the distinction in all three modes, which actually makes them helpful, relying in your driving model. For on a regular basis driving, Fearless mode could also be a bit too excessive and ultra-responsive. However that is the mode to be in in case you are in a rush, as a result of the best way the XUV400 shoots off the road and reacts to even the slightest pedal motion could be very spectacular.
Enjoyable, Quick and Fearless modes have distinctively totally different driving dynamics.
Quick mode is the default mode, in case you aren’t in a rush and need to preserve some vary, while Enjoyable mode is whenever you need to have enjoyable eking out the utmost vary; it’s not for enjoyable driving. There aren’t any manually selectable regeneration ranges, which robotically range based mostly on the mode you’re in. Regen is most in Enjoyable mode, the place it’s all about conserving the cost, and the least in Fearless mode, the place the brake really feel is extra regular. Talking of brakes, they are typically a bit grabby and the transition from regen energy to hydraulic energy might be extra seamless.
Don’t need to use the brakes? The XUV400 comes with a ‘one-pedal’ mode, which you activate by choosing ‘L’ on the stubby gear lever. Some extent to notice right here is that the gear selector feels fairly upmarket, works properly, and feels far nicer than the rotary driver controller within the Nexon. Coming again to one-pedal driving, although there is a rise in regen degree, as an alternative of aggressively slowing you down, deceleration is a bit too gradual. We might have most popular stronger regen for one-pedal driving to be simpler.
Gear selector feels upmarket, works properly, and feels far nicer than rotary dial controller within the Nexon.
While there isn’t a creep perform in L mode, creep works rather well in D. Take your foot off the brake and the XUV400 edges well ahead. In reality, simulating stop-and-go site visitors situations on the town route at Mahindra’s check observe, we discovered that getting on and off the brake pedal and letting the creep perform transfer the automobile ahead was a simpler technique of one-pedal driving.
The totally different modes have an effect on the steering as properly, and you may really feel it weigh up distinctly, as you progress from Enjoyable to Fearless mode. Nevertheless, aside from a rise within the steering effort, there’s no distinction in steering really feel, which must be improved earlier than the XUV400 goes on sale. There’s a good bit of slack across the straight-ahead place, and whenever you activate the lock, it doesn’t weigh up progressively, however you’re feeling a sudden resistance at one level. The journey high quality appears excellent and guarantees to be a spotlight of the automobile, however we’ll reserve ultimate judgement until we check on Mumbai’s roads. At excessive speeds, the lengthy wheelbase and weight of the XUV400 give it a reassuring sure-footedness, which makes it a great high-speed cruiser, however fixed corrections on the wheel are wanted. Calibrating and fine-tuning the EPS needs to be excessive on the Mahindra crew’s to-do record earlier than it reaches prospects.
Charging the XUV400 is kind of simple and fairly fast in case you plug it right into a 50kW DC quick charger, which can take the battery from 0-80 p.c in 50 minutes. A 7.2kW wall field AC charger, the sort you’ll set up, will cost a totally flat battery to 100 p.c in 6.5 hours, and 13 hours in case you use a 3.3kW home socket.
Mahindra XUV400 EV: pricing and launch
There’s no phrase on pricing but, however figuring out Mahindra, count on it to be predatory, as a result of the corporate lastly has an opportunity to spoil the Nexon EV’s social gathering. We count on the XUV400 to be priced between Rs 18 lakh-20 lakh (ex-showroom), which will definitely make it engaging sufficient to swing patrons away from the Nexon EV Max. The query is, will Mahindra, which hasn’t sorted out its provide points, have the ability to make sufficient of them?