Mahindra made an attempt at a sub 4 meter MUV with the Mahindra Quanto. To do this, they took the design inspiration from Xylo and that wasn’t really a good idea. The Xylo was already an unattractive car and the resulting Quanto was even uglier. They are coming up with a new sub 4 meter vehicle which is the S101. It is based on an entirely new platform and will borrow design cues from the attractive Mahindra flagship SUV XUV 500. So we are expecting it to be an attractive car and now the question here is that if they should facelift the Quanto as well.
The Quanto currently being sold is a decent car if you can live with the looks. It is spacious on the inside and has got decent interiors. It is powered by an impressive 1.5 liter three cylinder turbocharged engine which develops a peak power of 100 bhp. It transmits its power via a five speed manual gearbox. During the Auto Expo 2014 earlier this year, they showcased a new variant of the Mahindra Quanto among other vehicles. This new variant is the automatic version of the Quanto.
The AutoShift gearbox that they have used in this new variant is developed with Ricardo. This is similar to the AMT system we recently saw on the Maruti Suzuki Celerio. It would provide the convenience of an automatic gearbox without adding the hassles. It would also provide performance and efficiency similar to manual transmission. The design is very much similar to the model already available in the market. It still has that bland face and abruptly ending tailgate which looks awkward. It gets the spare wheel on the boot which looks decent but doesn’t suit the small dimension of the vehicle.
The MUV, as we already said is spacious on the inside. The doors are large providing easy entrance and exit. The large cabin also gives you plenty of legroom. The interiors on this AT version are very much similar to the standard car except for the center console. Here the manual stick shifter has been replaced by the AutoShift stick. The lever sits in the right slot which gives the option of N and R. moving it to right will put it in M mode. Then you can push it towards + or – to toggle gears.
You also get a decent level of equipment on the car. You get features like power windows, airbags, ABS, AirCon and alloy wheels. The five speed AutoShift system is controlled by the ECU on this car. It operates on the shift map and senses when the gear ratio needs to be changed. The ratios are shifted by a hydraulic actuator. It hasn’t got a torque convertor which cuts down on weight and simplifies the system. This system can be used as an automatic or manual which gives the user more freedom. This vehicle not only brings this AMT gearbox but also comes with regenerative braking. They will have to market this product right to ensure that it doesn’t face the fate of current Quanto.