This is the same mHawk engine and gearbox that’s been lifted from the XUV500. It has been doing duty in that car for some time now, and while it makes 140bhp and 320Nm of torque, it is also coupled to the same six-speed gearbox. You instantly know the difference when you’re off the mark since the low-end torque seems like it is on steroids. Mahindra claims the sixth-gen Borg Warner turbo charger is the reason behind the peppy drive.
While we entirely agree, we also felt that the six-speed gearbox helps matters. Shifting gears is a huge improvement, thanks to the slicker slotting gates and the light clutch. Not only do the gears slot with a positive feel, they slot accurately even when done in a hurry. The combination of the torquey engine and closely stacked gear ratios makes constant downshifting unnecessary to keep up with unless you really need a serious dose of performance. However, the biggest downfall has to be the reverse gear, which quite frankly, is a pain to actuate and the long throw doesn’t help matters either.
Let’s talk more about the power delivery now. It is linear and there’s an abundance of torque right from the word go. A strong surge can be felt kicking-in at about 1400rpm that sees the rpm needle swiftly reach 3500rpm before tapering off at 4200rpm. While the meaty portion of the power-band is obviously wide, we must add that traction is unmistakeably this motor’s strength, which is quite unlike the 120bhp mHawk engine. Our VBox also confirmed this by clocking the 0-100kmph run in 12.73 seconds. Even the 20-80kmph and 40-100kmph drivability tests, recorded in 9.89 seconds and 15.94 seconds respectively, is more than a second faster than the 120bhp mHawk engine, both in terms of outright acceleration and drivability. Keep the accelerator pedal floored and the revs climb all the way to the motor’s 4700rpm redline, but by that time, the motor gets quite noisy.
That said, it is only at the higher revs where you’ll actually hear the engine (with windows rolled up), since Mahindra has optimised the insulation. However, what dampened our high speed driving experience was the excessive wind noise associated with the upright windscreen position. There aren’t any surprises in the ride and handling department since Mahindra has retained the earlier suspension system. So, it continues to drive with the typical ladder-frame SUV traits.
Although, this time around, we felt that the facelifted Scorpio had a slightly more absorbent ride at lower speeds. But if you go over a speed breaker a little fast or over a sharp bump, the rear kicks and it can get uncomfortable for the rear occupants especially. Then, there are the inherent qualities of pitching, constant up-and-down movement and the side-to-side rocking that are present in the facelifted car too. The ride never seems settled until the Scorpio sees a perfectly flat stretch of tarmac.
Let’s talk about the steering now. It feels slightly vague off the dead centre, isn’t particularly quick, and has quite a few turns from lock to lock (making U-Turns a bit of a hand-job). On the flip side, it makes up for these shortcomings by being decently light and progressive, especially while steering through corners at lower speeds. On the other hand, the braking is better than before and this is thanks to Mahindra’s latest braking system, coupled to the 9.1 Bosch ABS system.