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Old 31st July 2014, 10:18   #61
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Default Re: Scorpio VLX 4x4 Review: 1000 kms in Lahaul-Spiti

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Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
Not my usual mode of transport, but thought it was worth sharing this experience:

The charitable hospital in Manali that I sometimes volunteer with was gifted - by the local State Bank of India branch - a new Scorpio vlx 4x4 about a year ago. It was intended as primarily an executive vehicle, to be used on relatively pampered highway drives by our Medical Superintendent and Administrator in their official travels, as well as for an occasional use snow-breaker (not having another 4x4) to get us out of fixes when Manali's winters reduce the roads to slippery Gypsy-and-Jeep-only tracks. But now it would be pressed into service in a different capacity.

======================================

I'm wondering now - with more trips to Spiti being planned - whether the hospital's vlx could be fitted with adjustable air-lift shocks on the rear to firm up the back, and stiffer springs from an earlier model on the front. With the suspension worked out, it would actually be a pretty workable car. The low torque can be overcome (not ideally, but practically) by running in 4wd low continuously on Spiti's unpaved, loose, relatively low-speed roads. It is capable of a fairly comfortable 40-45kmph speeds in 5th gear / low range, which is most often enough. All the gear spacings become a lot closer, and the whole package a lot more responsive and manageable.

Whatever the case, I should say that at the end of the day, you don't need the perfect vehicle to have a good time - or, moreover to demonstrate a bit of love towards one's fellow man.

Regards,
Eric
@Eric,
This has been a wonderful review the most practical one ever on this forum and thanks to u have saved 10lacs as this was the primary use i was intending with my planned scorpio buy 4x4 lx model though.
I am a dentist with specialization in root canal treatment if you like i will be happy to volunteer for a week or so at the hospital idont want any financial benefits.do call me if you ever hit the plains i am in chandigarh
regards
Dr Gurpreet
9815302005

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Old 31st July 2014, 11:29   #62
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Default Re: Scorpio VLX 4x4 Review: 1000 kms in Lahaul-Spiti

@ Kandisa, here is a small preview of the 2014 Storme.
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Old 31st July 2014, 12:45   #63
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Default Re: Scorpio VLX 4x4 Review: 1000 kms in Lahaul-Spiti

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Originally Posted by Parm View Post
@ Kandisa, here is a small preview of the 2014 Storme.
Thanks for the preview, would be more interested about what is underneath. The picture suggests it is awaiting a festive season launch and in that case it might be the 'more' powerful version as speculated by many? My interest however will be to see a 'downgrade' version, you know what i mean. Time to shift the posts to the Storme thread though.
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Old 31st July 2014, 18:10   #64
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Default Re: Scorpio VLX 4x4 Review: 1000 kms in Lahaul-Spiti

MODS: This thread has changed its direction from its original heading, I suggest we merge the Storme posts with Tata Storme threads.

@Kandisa, one can see the front grille being LR/RR type. Expect more muscle under the skin, along with 4WD in lower variants.

Last edited by Parm : 31st July 2014 at 18:11.
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Old 26th November 2014, 21:02   #65
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Default Re: Scorpio VLX 4x4 Review: 1000 kms in Lahaul-Spiti

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Strange that, after the initial posts, the OP has decided to go silent regarding the issues on the hospital-owned Scorpio he drove.

Was this another of those threads that aims to bash a car model based on limited experience of driving a perhaps-faulty car?
My apologies for losing track of this thread completely... nothing was turning up in my "you've been quoted" - and for me the issue was settled, with no more to say...

But since my assessment was being questioned: If you or anyone else wants confirmation of the mHawk/Crde's woeful hill performance on a daily basis, you need inquire no further than the Mahindra&Mahindra showroom at vill. Prini, a few km. south of Manali on the left bank side. Ours was no "faulty car". These cars are simply terrible up here; when I was at the Prini showroom recently helping a friend order a new Bolero (ended up with the LX 4x4 gov't version with the old MDI-T and PS), the salespeople were well aware of the low-torque issues with the engines in question, and thus were recommending the MDI-T (or perhaps the M2DI, which I'm hearing good things about from other sources, as well - one who's even taken his so-powered Bolero to Marsimek-La!) to my Lahauli friend, who would be driving between here and there regularly.

Take it from people who live and drive (and sell cars in) the hills daily. Really no point arguing this.

I also do not think it's fair to refer to mine as "limited experience", since although I drove a mere 1000km, I also cited the opinions of the other two regular drivers of that car - very experienced with all sorts of vehicles in hill driving and cumulatively probably 40 years' experience up here, who've been to L&S and all over Himachal, and in the plains besides, many, many times in the vlx (the car must have around 20,000km on it now).

I own a M&M vehicle and cannot see how I'd be benefited in any way by bashing the one in question.

Just FYI. Thanks for reading.

-Eric
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Old 26th November 2014, 21:50   #66
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Default Re: Scorpio VLX 4x4 Review: 1000 kms in Lahaul-Spiti

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Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
I went on a mild offroad trail for the last 25 kms to Aut, and I noticed a distinctly sluggish response even on the mildest incline. But it was my first time driving a AT and I didnt know about the "M" mode which we are to use in these situations - was told about it when i went for Test Drive at the dealer.
To be honest, I was not even aware (or had forgotten) that the Scorpio 4wd had an AT option.

Believe it or not, turbocharged cars/light trucks have often worked better with AT's (Automatic Transmissions), the reason being that in that case, torque-convertor slippage allows the engine to get up into the boost-range rpm much more readily than could be done with a MT (where you can only get that slippage / desired rpm increase by basically abusing your clutch). So off the line, on an incline or from a dead stop, boost builds faster. Other thing is that you don't lose boost between gears when upshifting, since during upshifts, throttle position is maintained and engine is kept continuously under load (= exhaust pressure = boost), vs. a MT, where throttle is normally lifted and there is some delay while engaging the next gear, during which time the turbo slows down, boost is lost and must be re-built again when throttle is applied.

I suspect that if our hospital's vlx mHawk had been AT-equipped, it would've been a much more pleasant drive in regions beyond. On the other hand, AT's often have overheating issues (there was reference to this elsewhere in the thread, I think re: fluid breakdown), and I suspect they'd be getting stressed to the max ascending the high passes. And you REALLY don't want to be breaking down halfway to Leh somewhere. An accessory trans-cooler would probably help here.

I'd be curious to try an AT-version up there, if given the opportunity. Suspension would still be too soft, but I'd bet the power delivery would be much more satisfying.

-Eric
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Old 26th November 2014, 22:41   #67
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Default Re: Scorpio VLX 4x4 Review: 1000 kms in Lahaul-Spiti

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Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
Believe it or not, turbocharged cars/light trucks have often worked better with AT's (Automatic Transmissions),
True. And don't forget the torque multiplication! But I would want a manually controlled lockup when descending!)

(The Rexton Auto does not have a low range!)

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 27th November 2014, 11:43   #68
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Regular Torque Converter automatics offer very poor engine braking as there is no mechanical linkage between transmission and gearbox. I will experienced this first hand in my land cruiser auto. When I researched online, there are after market manual lock up kits available that let you lock the Torque converter manually.
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Old 27th November 2014, 15:02   #69
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Default Re: Scorpio VLX 4x4 Review: 1000 kms in Lahaul-Spiti

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Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
2) The soft suspension, while working quite okay in Lahaul (except on bigger potholes / speedbreakers), was completely useless in Spiti. Again, our driver with 35-years' hill experience quoted here: "It's like riding on a ball". The soft, low-frequency coils have the car constantly bouncing in huge arcs, bottoming out the suspensions (especially rear, but frequently front as well), and thus, banging the chassis components countless times on stones and other obstacles in the road. We had to seriously CRAWL - at idle (in 4wd low) through some of the water crossings, even then frequently scraping/bumping under-components; where even the humble, worn, 14-year-old Sumo SE could launch in with wild abandon (using the same Bridgestone radials we had, but in a smaller size) and come out of unscathed.

Regards,
Eric
The softer suspension and body control issue while on road and offroad can be fixed by fitting after market shocks and springs. I know that Ironman4x4 has a suspension kit for the Scorpio which includes stiffer springs, and better shocks. I have their kit fitted on my Endeavour 4x4 and it certainly improved ride quality and body control a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
To be honest, I was not even aware (or had forgotten) that the Scorpio 4wd had an AT option.

Believe it or not, turbocharged cars/light trucks have often worked better with AT's (Automatic Transmissions), the reason being that in that case, torque-convertor slippage allows the engine to get up into the boost-range rpm much more readily than could be done with a MT (where you can only get that slippage / desired rpm increase by basically abusing your clutch). So off the line, on an incline or from a dead stop, boost builds faster. Other thing is that you don't lose boost between gears when upshifting, since during upshifts, throttle position is maintained and engine is kept continuously under load (= exhaust pressure = boost), vs. a MT, where throttle is normally lifted and there is some delay while engaging the next gear, during which time the turbo slows down, boost is lost and must be re-built again when throttle is applied.

I suspect that if our hospital's vlx mHawk had been AT-equipped, it would've been a much more pleasant drive in regions beyond. On the other hand, AT's often have overheating issues (there was reference to this elsewhere in the thread, I think re: fluid breakdown), and I suspect they'd be getting stressed to the max ascending the high passes. And you REALLY don't want to be breaking down halfway to Leh somewhere. An accessory trans-cooler would probably help here.

I'd be curious to try an AT-version up there, if given the opportunity. Suspension would still be too soft, but I'd bet the power delivery would be much more satisfying.

-Eric
My Endeavour is the 4x4 AT version and the points you mentioned are so true. I've done some serious offroading with my Endeavour over the last 3 years and have loved the vehicle offroad and on. Autobox rules in the city. I've been trying to tell fellow offroaders how much better the automatic is while offroad but have found it hard to explain. They are stuck stubbornly in their manual purist ways and refuse to admit the benefits of the autobox. The power is so easy to build and maintain from standstill and you never have a point where it drops off like at the end of the RPM range or at the start. Constant delivery of torque and very easy to modulate. I love the Endeavour's autobox Offroad but Onroad its not the best. Yes coming downhill there is some decent engine braking on 1 Low but for most slopes offroad I find myself relying on the brakes a lot but it hasn't really been too much of a hindrance in my experience.

Last edited by Endeavour333 : 27th November 2014 at 15:12.
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Old 28th November 2014, 06:38   #70
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Default Re: Scorpio VLX 4x4 Review: 1000 kms in Lahaul-Spiti

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Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
Yeah, I mis-wrote. What I should have said is that some of drivetrain windup is taken up by the torque converter of an automatic transmission because of the viscous coupling. And, no, I am not going to try to explain that. Go ahead if you want to.



I am not Eric.

I never said you wrote post #32.

B.D. really is B.D.

You really are Mary Jean Johnson from Cedar Falls, South Dakota and your favorite color is red.
Ok Dirty Dan you are not Eric, but you have my name in the quote and that's misleading as I never wrote it.
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Old 29th November 2014, 14:16   #71
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Default Re: Scorpio VLX 4x4 Review: 1000 kms in Lahaul-Spiti

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Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
Regular Torque Converter automatics offer very poor engine braking as there is no mechanical linkage between transmission and gearbox.
True in most cases, but the Aisin Gearbox that M&M is testing now has alock up torque converter, where torque converter slip will occur only in 1st and second while third to 6th the lock will be released only while shifting. Higher lock up will give both good efficiency as well as engine braking.

Note Allison Torque converter gearboxes for buses were the first to use this shift mode.

Rahul
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Old 3rd December 2014, 14:13   #72
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Default Re: Scorpio VLX 4x4 Review: 1000 kms in Lahaul-Spiti

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Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
and there wasn't much left to say IMO about the vlx anyway (except that I did NOT experience anything like windup at any time traveling at 45kmph in 5th gear / 4L up Kunzum-La's gravel track ).

-Eric

The last bit "Gravel track" was the factor that prevented windup. Besides, I guess the windup factor is probably not such of a threat on Tarmac on limited usage either, the tyres do generate some slip and adjust, on the otherhand on hard tarmac, there is no point in using 4WD at all.

However, one question, if the vehicle could go upto 45kmph, what was the need to stick to 4L?
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Old 7th December 2014, 01:27   #73
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Default Re: Scorpio VLX 4x4 Review: 1000 kms in Lahaul-Spiti

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
The last bit "Gravel track" was the factor that prevented windup. Besides, I guess the windup factor is probably not such of a threat on Tarmac on limited usage either, the tyres do generate some slip and adjust, on the otherhand on hard tarmac, there is no point in using 4WD at all.

However, one question, if the vehicle could go upto 45kmph, what was the need to stick to 4L?
You could run on hard tarmac all day without windup if: 1) you drove in a perfectly straight line (and thus none of the inevitable difference in rotation between front/rear axle systems experienced when turning); and 2) your tires were all exactly identical in diameter (which they're usually not due to wear / different brandings / etc on any given vehicle).

A school up here has a hardtop 5-door Gypsy that I drove a couple winters ago. It wound up so bad, even on wet pavement (there was snow in-between, hence my using 4H, that the whole car would vibrate and slow down to a crawl. BAD. And why? It had maybe half-worn f78-15 MRF's on one end, and new f78-15's of exactly same pattern, but by a different manufacturer and considerably taller in profile, on the other!

Reason for my using 4L (you'd have to look back to the original post for this) in the Scorpio is that the mHawk had very little low-end torque and I was having trouble getting it going again after each tight uphill switchback leading up the pass (especially since the suspension was bottoming all the time and I had to take it very carefully over the stones, etc). 4L not only makes your 1st gear a lot lower for getting started easily, it also reduces the rpm drop between every other gear (and thus reduces boost drop and keeps the engine in the rpm range it likes best), making it a LOT easier and pleasant to drive under those conditions. I could've done 45kmph even in second gear in 2/4H, but I wasn't just cruising. Gaining speed again after all those near-stops was impossible in high range without abusing the clutch, and the 1-2 rpm/boost drop made things difficult, too.

SS-Traveller had suggested somewhere earlier that I erred in using 4L at those speeds ("not advisable"), claiming that windup would be a real issue, but it was not observed at all. Why would a 4H range even exist, if such speeds in themselves created windup? It's all about road surface.

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 7th December 2014 at 01:32.
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Old 23rd October 2016, 21:32   #74
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Default Re: Scorpio VLX 4x4 Review: 1000 kms in Lahaul-Spiti

A long-dead thread as it should be ....

But having finally got out into the same region in the vehicle which inspired some of the original comparisons, thought I'd post a pic of it in about the same location as depicted in a few early in this thread:

Scorpio VLX 4x4 Review: 1000 kms in Lahaul-Spiti-sam_3609.jpg


Briefly regarding the Marshal in this context, which really has so little in common with the vlx besides being 4wd, diesel, and an M&M SUV-like product:

1. Never hit/scraped bottom and only rarely bottomed the suspension (despite the springs being due for servicing).
2. Plenty of torque to start out on steep grades.
3. A few admiring looks and comments from amongst the Raid-de-Himalaya crowd and others - clear mental associations with these untamed regions.
4. Not exactly a harsh ride, and actually pretty comfy overall for four adults / two kids / a week plus worth of luggage, bedding, etc.
5. Very linear power delivery (no turbo-lag!).
6. Good suspension articulation (didn't come anywhere near getting stuck anyplace, even in 2wd)
7. Biggest plus - no electronic audio uncle on startup insisting every time on assuring me that this M&M product is "Your Dream Car"!!!
8. Harder to start in the cold.
9. Much noisier obviously.
10. Obviously less power from midrange upward.
11. Much looser body structure (shake, rattle, roll to greater/lesser degrees).
12. More physical effort to drive (hard steering, hard brakes, etc) and thus more fatiguing - though truly, "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger" !


I suppose this is to say - now against the perspective of time - that each vehicle has its place, and depending on tastes and priorities, either could produce a happy (or miserable) owner! Neither of these is likely to spend its entire life in the high deserts, and neither is perfect for them, either. Both get the job done with compromises; Question is what compromises are more tolerable in the context.

I've no idea what the new S4 4wd's are like for places such as Spiti, whether improvements have been made over the previous gen. reported on. I do know: 1. that I can't really afford one anyway; and 2. that the Marshal did all we wanted/needed it to, as a steady and predictable performer providing a memorable, pleasant family experience without any drama, getting us into places that would've been harrowing / painful / risky / impossible in a sedan. If that is the measure, then it is the equal of any new and more refined machine. Glad to have it and looking forward to whatever future adventures it may help provide.

Scorpio VLX 4x4 Review: 1000 kms in Lahaul-Spiti-sam_3575.jpg

(more related photos here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ve...-4x4-ngcs.html (Our Marshal DI 4x4 NGCS))

Thanks and Regards,
Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 23rd October 2016 at 21:34.
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