Mahindra is one of the most popular SUV manufacturers in India. While the manufacturer has a variety of SUVs in its lineup, one of the models that made Mahindra extremely popular as a modern SUV maker was the Scorpio. The SUV was first introduced back in 2002; since then, it has become a well-known name in the Indian automotive world. Even after two decades since its launch, the popularity of the SUV doesn’t seem to wane. Mahindra even launched the all-new Scorpio N in the market and retained the original Scorpio, giving it the Classic badge. Here, we have a set of rare images showing the first lot of Mahindra Scorpio SUVs being manufactured at the brand’s Nashik facility.
The images have been shared by Siddharth on Instagram. Before the Scorpio, Mahindra was known as a manufacturer that built utilitarian vehicles like the Bolero, which is still doing well in the market. They also had models like Armada, Classic, and so on. Mahindra had built an image among customers as a brand that makes vehicles capable of taking a lot of abuse, and customers from rural areas with broken or no roads actually liked it.
Back then, the Tata Safari was the only modern SUV that Indians had seen. At that time, Tata used to sell the Safari at Rs 8.25 lakh, which was too expensive for Indian buyers. The launch of the Scorpio, however, changed things. Mahindra launched the Scorpio at a price of Rs 5.5 lakh, which was extremely competitive compared to other cars like the Safari and Qualis in the market.
Nowadays, we have manufacturers that offer a variety of petrol and diesel engine options. Mahindra did this with the Scorpio back in 2002. The SUV was available with four engine options. There were three diesel engines of 2179cc, 2609cc, and 2523cc. The petrol engine, on the other hand, was 2179cc. The diesel engine produced 109 Bhp and 250 Nm of peak torque. The petrol engine generated 116 Bhp and 184 Bhp. Both petrol and diesel engine options were available with a manual gearbox option only. The petrol version didn’t do well in terms of sales as it was not very fuel-efficient. The diesel, on the other hand, was fuel-efficient and also came with both 2WD and 4WD configurations.
The Mahindra Scorpio was developed completely in-house and was the first vehicle to be developed in this manner. Assistance from AVL Austria and consultants from Japan was sought for the project. A total of 23 expert engineers worked on developing the Scorpio. The whole project, including the design and development, tooling at the Nashik factory, cost around Rs 500 crore. One of the major issues that the first-generation Scorpio faced was the brakes.
This heavy SUV used to come with disc brakes at the front and drum brakes for the rear. Also, the SUV used to come with leaf spring suspension at the rear, but it was later changed to multi-link coil-overs, which significantly improved the ride quality. The Mahindra Scorpio was never perfect; it had issues in terms of fit and finish, and the engine was also not the most refined. However, it was robust as it was a ladder-on-frame SUV. The rugged or raw feel of the SUV is probably what worked in favor of the Scorpio and turned the destiny of Mahindra completely.