Mahindra Scorpio Micro Hybrid
The environment friendly car technology in India has so far been restricted to small electric vehicles like the Reva or the Honda Civic Hybrid. But its finally moved down to SUV?s with Mahindra Scorpio. The Scorpio has been around for almost a decade now, and ideally speaking it should be due for a retirement anytime soon. But Mahindra has been constantly working on the Scorpio. The latest evolution is the VLX Micro Hybrid. It looks like a normal Scorpio but there has been little styling changes. Crucially, it has now got the Start-Stop Technology. The Scorpio Micro Hybrid is not a conventional hybrid car. Unlike a Honda Civic Hybrid, the scorpio does not get an electric motor to back up the petrol or diesel engine. Instead, what you get in Micro Hybrid is Start-Stop. When you stop, put the gear into neutral and let go of the clutch, the engine cuts off after 5 seconds. That is it, you are saving fuel and saving the environment. When you have to get moving again, simply press the clutch and the engine revs up to life instantly. It does save fuel, and around the world start-stop is used in a lot of city cars to save fuel in city traffic conditions. When the engine cuts off, the air-conditioning also cuts off. In the sweltering Indian heat, it is unsure how many people would actually let the engine cut off. If you are willing to overlook the perspiration, this system does make a difference. The Start-stop when put to test returned mileage figures of 10.09 kmpl with the system turned on and 9.82 kmpl with the system turned off. It is not a significant increase, but every little bit of fuel saved will help in the end. In scorpio, the Micro Hybrid Technology is allied to the 2.2 litre mHawk engine which impressed us all when it was launched last year. The all aluminum engine is 130 kgs lighter than its predecessor and the resulting difference in dynamics is altogether apparent. The Scorpio was once a very heavy ride. But things have improved a lot and the recent switch from leaf springs to coil springs has made a lot of difference. The ride is more composed, the Handling is decent and though it tends to roll and wallow a bit, it is quite within acceptable parameters. I once put on 10000 kms on Scorpio driving around in Rajasthan, and I enjoyed every single Km of it. Now with its improved engine, performance has gone up, fuel efficiency has gone up, it is more refined and crucially, because there is less weight upfront, handling is also better. Overall it has become a much safer and nicer drive. Micro Hybrid Technology costs and additional Rs.3000. Not a big hit on your wallet given the benefits of saving the environment and saving money in the long run. The Scorpio might be old but Mahindra?s constant tinkering with the car has managed to keep it fresh and relevant in this day and age. It still looks very manly and very SUV like. Scorpio is also the rare SUV in which you get Automatic Transmission. You can also get optional 4WD in this car. You get captain seats at the rear which makes it a comfortable long distance tourer. It suits many needs and many requirements. Clearly Scorpio is a cut above its competition right now.
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