Mahin­dra heeds calls for six-speed auto

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

THE pop­u­lar Mahin­dra XUV500 sports util­ity ve­hi­cle has been fur­ther en­hanced with the ad­di­tion of an au­to­matic trans­mis­sion op­tion.

The ad­vanced six-speed trans­mis­sion will ini­tially only be avail­able on the front-wheel W8 de­riv­a­tive.

“Our New Age XUV500 has been ex­tremely well re­ceived since we launched this so­phis­ti­cated, well-equipped and highly com­pe­tent SUV lo­cally in Oc­to­ber last year,” said San­joy Gupta, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Mahin­dra SA.

“How­ever, cus­tomer feed­back in­di­cated that there is a sig­nif­i­cant de­mand for an au­to­matic trans­mis­sion model.”

A new, highly ad­vanced au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, sourced from lead­ing global trans­mis­sion man­u­fac­turer Aisin, has since been ap­proved for use in the XUV500, and has now been added as an op­tion to the XUV500 model range in South Africa.

The new, sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion auto trans­mis­sion links a torque con­verter to plan­e­tary gears for smooth, pre­cise gear shifts. It of­fers the best of both worlds, achiev­ing the quick re­sponses of a man­ual trans­mis­sion with the re­fine­ment, con­ve­nience and ease of use that is as­so­ci­ated with au­to­matic trans­mis­sions.

The six-speed de­sign has gear ra­tios to en­sure brisk ac­cel­er­a­tion and midrange tractabil­ity, while the over­drive sixth gear al­lows eco­nom­i­cal open­road cruis­ing. The in­tel­li­gent trans­mis­sion adapts seam­lessly to dif­fer­ent driv­ing con­di­tions and is equipped with a “creep” func­tion to cope eas­ily with stop-start driv­ing con­di­tions in ur­ban traf­fic. A man­ual over­ride mode al­lows driv­ers the op­tion of shift­ing the gears them­selves.

The au­to­matic trans­mis­sion is linked to the XUV500’s pow­er­ful, ef­fi­cient turbo-diesel en­gine.

The 2,2-litre four-cylin­der mHawk 140 turbo-diesel makes use of a vari­able ge­om­e­try turbo charger to pro­duce 103 kW at 3 750 rpm and 330 Nm be­tween 1 600 rpm and 2 800 rpm.

It sells for R389 995, with a fiveyear/150 000 km war­ranty, and a fiveyear/100 000 km ser­vice plan. Ser­vices are at 20 000 km in­ter­vals or ev­ery 12 months, whichever comes first. — WR.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

The long-awaited au­to­matic shifter for the Mahin­dra XUV500 has fi­nally ar­rived.

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