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One can successfully argue that Mahindra’s own Bolero is a more iconic SUV than Scorpio. A staple of rural areas and a very capable, yet affordable vehicle, Bolero has always pulled in good sales for the company. As the upcoming safety norms have sounded the death knell for many models like Maruti Suzuki Gypsy, there were rumors that Bolero would go the same way. However, Mahindra has decided to update the Bolero as per the upcoming rules. Mahindra may make ABS standard across the entire Bolero line-up, and an updated version of the same may be on the way in the coming weeks. The reports from Autocar suggest that other mandatory features such as rear parking sensors, speed and seatnbelt warning, driver side airbag etc. will also be introduced in the updated version of Bolero.
Not just the internals and features but the upcoming safety rules also lay down other rules and Bolero is expected to comply with all of them. Mahindra will update the body and redesign the exteriors while maintaining the silhouette of the SUV to make Bolero comply with all the upcoming safety and pedestrian safety laws.
A long time steady seller for Mahindra, Bolero has in a sense been the evergreen seller for the brand. Its rugged nature, reliability, easy reparability, and simple mechanics make it a favorite among the smaller city and rural customers. Not to mention that the 4x4 version of Bolero is quite capable and has the capability to handle rough patches with ease. The affordable price is also another aspect that helps Bolero succeed. Perhaps this is the reason why Mahindra has decided to not work on a new Bolero but make the current model compliant to upcoming safety regulations. This will keep the costs low while altering nothing in a vehicle that is a customer favorite. A win-win situation for both Mahindra and the customers.
As far as the upcoming BS-VI emission norms are considered, Mahindra will update Bolero’s internals for that as well. Here as well, Mahindra is not expected to install and all-new engine in Bolero. Taking the same route as the safety norms, the current engine will be tweaked to comply with the stringent BS-VI emission norms that will be enforced from April 1, 2020. Although Mahindra is developing a new 2L engine for its other SUVs, the chances of the same being used in Bolero are scanty because this will raise the cost of UV by quite a bit. Thus, taking away the affordability appeal of Bolero. Therefore, expect the reworked version of the reliable but old 2.5L m2Di engine to continue serving on updated version of Bolero.
Not just the Bolero, but Indian SUV giant has been busy with other models as well. Its best-selling models such as Thar, Scorpio, and recently-facelifted XUV500 all require both mechanical and safety upgrades to continue in the market post the new safety and emission rules kick in.