Mahindra had earlier pulled a fast one with the current ground clearance norm by adding a stone guard under the engine, thereby reducing the ground clearance of the car. The government has taken notice of this loop hole in the norm and has decided to redefine the rule to make it more air tight. This will mean that, if the new rule comes into practice, the price of the XUV 500 will go up by about Rs 30,000 again.
According to the current rule, the ground clearance of any car is measured while fully laden, and vehicles measuring above 170mm in this setup will be branded as SUVs. This allowed the Mahindra to modify the XUV500 with minimal R&D to bypass the rule and attract a lesser 27 per cent tax against 30 per cent for other ‘SUVs’.
But the newly proposed rule ensures that the car has to be completely unladed thereby making the engine guard pointless in terms of clearance reduction. Under the new criteria, the XUV500 will measure between 200 and 210mm thereby attracting a higher tax bracket.
Beyond all the legalities and technical details, this only transpires to one simple yet important understanding. If you are in the market for an XUV500, now is the time to buy.