The Superheroes: Mahindra XUV500, Super XUV500 and Big Foot

Getting into the car, manoeuvring over and around the roll cage, I contort myself sufficiently to make even Mr Fantastic raise an eyebrow. Settling into the superb racing seat, I take in the metal shell that is the cabin and notice the stock centre console. It’s a bit like an assassin wearing a dainty brooch – completely out of character – though it’s going to be ripped off soon enough.

Down at the business end, the steering, pedals and gear shifter are all as pure as I can expect them to be. And keeping in mind that rally drivers use their handbrakes more than their opposable thumbs, the lever’s got no locking action either. Hardcore? Yup.

It starts like any other XUV, but that’s where all similarity ends. The engine’s internals are unchanged, but it gets additional mounting points for better rigidity. Also, the air filter and exhaust have been replaced with freer flowing ones and the ECU fitted with a tuning box – that’s it. The best thing I like is that the exhaust ends right under the driver’s door – a supercar cue if there ever was one. Needless to say, it’s the best place to be in the Super XUV.