Mahindras XUV500 storms to the podium in its rallying debut
- XUV500 creates history in Indian motorsports
- Becomes the first Diesel car to win in the Extreme category at the Desert Storm rally 2012
Mumbai , March 6, 2012: Mahindra’s cheetah inspired XUV500, became the first DIESEL vehicle ever to win a podium position in an Extreme rally as it secured third place in the recently held Desert Storm 2012 - one of India’s toughest tests for both man and machine. Apart from that, the XUV500 also set three special stages ablaze by clocking the fastest time in each.
The XUV500’s win truly epitomizes the essence of Mahindra Rise. Contrary to the belief that diesel cars are non competitive as compared to petrol powered cars, the XUV500 accepted no limits and emerged triumphant in the Extreme category. Gaurav Gill, three time National champion and APRC winning driver and Lohitt Urs, INRC winning driver were chosen to drive the cars under the Mahindra Adventure Rally programme.
Nicknamed ‘Super XUV500’, one of the rally prepared cars, driven by Lohitt Urs proved its mettle by moving from the 35th position on day 1 to 3rd position overall on day 5, marking the biggest comeback ever in the Indian Automotive Motorsports history! On the penultimate day, over the 395 km long special off-road stage, Lohitt overtook six vehicles and the XUV500 averaged a scorching pace of 98 kph!
Commenting on the incredible success of the XUV500 on its rallying debut, Mr. Vivek Nayer, Sr. Vice-President, Marketing, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said, “This unprecedented podium finish by the Mahindra XUV500is a testimony to the 20 Auto awards it has won since its launch!
Mahindra was entering the Extreme category for the first time in many years and the XUV500 conquered the Desert with dogged determination and confidence to create Indian motor sports history. Keeping the spirit of Adventure going, the XUV500 is all set to make and break many more records in times to come.”
Covering 3,500km in six days, the 10th edition of the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm Rally saw the largest participation ever. This year, the first leg, which also had a night stage, commenced from New Delhi. After a round trip through Rajasthan and Gujarat, that included crossing the Thar Desert and the flat lands of the Rann of Kutch, the rally ended in Ahmedabad. This year’s edition had over 280 participants, with close to 50 entries in the extreme category.