Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com takes the XUV400, the first electric SUV from the Mahindra stable, for a spin and comes away impressed.
The XUV400, the first electric SUV from the Mahindra stable, is finally around the corner.
Around the corner, because even though we are driving it well before the launch, the XUV400 will be seen on Indian roads only after January 2023.
We had the opportunity to drive this EV at Mahindra's state of the art SUV Proving Track (MSPT) in Chennai, the same one where we test drove the magnificent XUV700.
Here are the first impressions that the XUV400 left on us.
At first glance
A first look at the XUV400 seems like it is very much the same XUV300, the ICE version counterpart of the EV.
But don't be fooled, this XUV400 is bigger, longer actually. 205 mm longer to be exact.
And this makes the XUV400 stand apart from the smaller XUV300 which was made sub 4 metres to save on tax benefits.
With the XUV400, what stands out are the copper accents used in the car, instead of the normal chrome in other cars and green in other EVs.
These copper accents are a welcome addition and the copper colour which stands for being a good conductor of electricity, also extends on the roof of this dual-coloured version of the XUV400, and yes, It looks fantastic in black. The above image shows the XUV400 being tested in a gymkhana round at the MSPT Chennai
Open the front door and you are welcomed by a new look inside. Some might argue that this is similar to the XUV300, but the piano black treatment along with the copper accents just make it seem so fresh and new.
At first glance I didn't even think that this was a similar interior. Do compare it for yourself in our XUV300 review.
The seats are sporty and comfortable and have a perforated material.
The rear seat does feel like the thigh support is not enough, but as for knee space there is ample for a car this size.
You just can't miss the copper accents and the one thing that is going to differentiate the XUV400 in a big way, is the drive mode selector.
It looks like something out of a premium car and gives a lot of elegance to the interiors.
The Luggage Space
The extra 205 mm length of the XUV400 makes the boot larger with up to 378 litres of flat space. Big enough for all your luggage needs, and sometimes more!
As you can see from the photograph above, Hitesh has made himself quite comfy in the boot.
The First Drive
Now, this is what it all comes down to: Is it a fun car to drive?
Normally, as with all EVs, the instant push of power does make them fun-to-drive machines. But how much fun does the XUV400 give us is what we are here in the MSPT to find out.
The XUV400 has a new heart, a 39.4 kWh battery which can be charged from 0 to 80% charge in 50 minutes using the 50kW fast charger.
And it is this heart that gives an output of 150 Hp and 310 Nm of torque!
Now, at the MSPT driving, the XUV400 is all about experience.
See the video below for the experience.
The XUV400 comes with three drive modes: Fun, Fast and Fearless.
Fun is the basic driving mode which ensures that you get more mileage/range from your vehicle. In our testing of the modes, we saw that in the Fun mode, the car flats out at 90 kmph.
In the Fast mode, you get more thrill and the driving dynamic changes and you can go up to a max speed of 135 kmph.
Now for the last but not the least. The Fearless mode is not for the faint-hearted. And in this mode you get a maximum speed of 160 kmph.
As the name suggests, the vehicle just flies as you touch the accelerator pedal in this mode!
And sometimes if you are not ready, it might throw you off-guard. But the fun quotient in this mode just takes you to a new high!
There is wheelspin. A lot of wheelspin and you can expect to burn a lot of rubber in this mode, as you saw in the video above.
But this muscular XUV400, which is still in its testing phase, had no ESP (electronic stability program) in the car which will be a big big help to get more control of the car in the Fearless mode.
We were told that the final production cars will surely come with ESP.
Now with a claimed range of 456 km on a single charge, we are so very eager to see the final product and January 2023 seems too far away to know the price!
Since this was a test car, we won't go into details of how much range the XUV400 will get in real-life situations and other factoids about the car.
It will get some more finishing touches by the time it comes out in January.
Till then, all you EV buyers maybe can hold off till you get a test drive of the XUV400 -- pronounced 'XUV Four Double Oh'.