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Old 3rd April 2022, 11:19   #76
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Default The Red Sparkle completes 5500 Kms!

It's been about 7 weeks now since the car is home and apart from ESP blinking lights, nothing much is seen on the mind-troubling dark side of ownership "fingers-crossed"!

Last Friday (March 25), we formed up an impromptu plan to drive to Goa (my extended family home) to celebrate FIL's 80th birthday - the opportunity I was looking forward to stretching the legs of Red Sabertooth! We left Bangalore on Saturday morning by 10.30 am and returned on Thursday evening at 6 pm with some fantastic memories and experiences!

We took a slightly different route to North Goa instead of sticking to our usual Chorala / Ramnagar - Anmod route. All the country roads after Haveri (via Tadas - Kalaghatagi - Haliyal - Catslerock - Anmod - Mollem - Tambadi Surla - Sanquelim) through the narrow sections, passing through the western ghat and forests, we drove at our own pace (with some spirited drive while on the highway NH48).

We spent our Sunday lazing in and around Sanquelim town - visiting the valavanti river stream, Keri footover bridge, Ashvem beach only to mark Monday for a grander celebration.

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-goa1.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-goa2.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-goa5.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-drone1.jpg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-drone2.jpg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-drone3.jpg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-goa3.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-beach1.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-beach2.jpeg

The Monday was an unusual family gathering at our home - the FILs and BILs and SILs and the kids - just the close family - laid back relaxed lunch at The Rassoda in old goa and cake cutting later. This was the best time we spent after almost two years of the pandemic. For some or other reason, the entire family couldn't be in one place. This was the best frame we fixed in our memories and experiences forever. After I completed my remote office work, in the evening, we even went on the night drive - around Old Goa, Panjim again as an entire family - enjoyed the gelato ice creams, drove a couple of times on the Atal Setu, watched the cruise lights in Mandovi river... it was a great time.

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-nightdrive3.jpeg

Tuesday, was no action day, mostly due to work. Wednesday morning we started driving towards BLR on the same route as we took while going to Goa. A thought that was seeded as fun to stay at Dandeli for a change was well accepted by the home minister - we decided to break our journey at Dandeli - our birdwatching paradise. And this was our first trip that involved staying at a homestay or hotel for almost after 3 years! This was the icing on the cake! We spoke to a close friend and got ourselves booked into Sangway Holiday Homestay - must say that was a great choice. The homestay provided me with an uninterrupted broadband connection - while the family enjoys the food and property, I completed a lot of work. I rated the homestay 5* on google in return for this great time we had there.

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-anmod3.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-anmod4.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-anmod5.jpeg

These twisties on the ghat road, with Zom mode and AWD to accompany, is too much fun! Kids enjoyed the middle seat but I am sure an elderly would have thrown up on this section!
Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-anmodghatroute.jpeg

The Wednesday evening was well spent visiting the Honey Park and Supa Dam backwater. We discovered a narrow trail leading us deep into the dam-bed, closest to the water. This sunset was better than the one we had on Ashvem beach! The entire area to us and not a single soul to disturb us, we enjoyed the time there. We spotted a family of Great Indian Hornbill - regretted not carrying a DSLR. That was the best evening.

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-dandeli6.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-supadam1.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-supadam2.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-supawatchingsunset.jpg

The Thursday morning, we went with our birding guide to see many more birds - many more Grey and Malabar Pied hornbills, some rare yellow flamebacks, various sunbirds, Drongos, Owlets, Malabar giant squirrels, some raptors. We think we were extremely lucky to have sighted so many birds just in a couple of hours between 6.45-8.45 am!

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-dandeli3.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-dandeli5.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-dandeli7.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-dandelihornbill.jpeg

After breakfast back at our homestay, we resumed our journey back to BLR - such impromptu breaks, and last-minute itinerary changes are so much fun!

When we look back at this trip, we appreciate the time we could spend with family, the stays, and the small things we missed in past few years.

The car has now crossed the 5500 km mark on the odometer! With a decently loaded boot (two large trolleys and a lot of small knick-knacks), the car was extremely planted on the highway as well as country roads. It dances as you make it to dance! When you go heavy on A pedal with Zoom mode steroids, it gulps the diesel like it has been thirsty for ages. You let it coast in its relaxed Zap tune, she just behaves like a camel who can manage the least amount of water in a hot desert! The aggressive driving on the highway returned the mileage of 10.5kmpl (Tankful method) while the coasting in the rest of the sections returned 13.7 kmpl mileage! I think I can get it to 15 kmpl easily if I stick to two-digit speeds all the time with some techniques to extend the range (which I hope will never do!)!

I had the opportunity to use the ADAS for a longer distance - that thing is just great. Can also be a scary thing if you don't know what it is capable of. When I was in comfortable ACC stop and Go mode, the car with LKA, Smart Pilot turned on, behaved like a locomotive on tracks - the track turns, the car turns. I mean on the properly marked six-lane NH48, even on the turns, I need not do anything. The car just does everything by itself. Sparse traffic helped. Noone cut our lanes to confuse the system. In one instance though, when I was not in ACC mode (AEBS was still ON), during a quick lane change action to cut between two large trucks, for a millisecond, the car tried braking itself. But knowing I was pressing A pedal, it let go of the brakes. That small "holding-back" gesture from the car was scary. So now I use the Advanced Driver Assistance settings menu (set as my favourite option on MID console to use from steering buttons) more frequently. This way, when I am not using the ADAS ACC feature, I turn off AEBS with just 3 clicks on the MID. I wish it could be even simpler or faster.

Other than this, the AT works just how I would have used MT. The left hand is now almost all-time free (I should be training to rest it on steering instead of gear-stick). And the free left hand, presented for many such moments when we were driving relaxed, listening to great music! While we were at our romantic selves, our kids clicked such pictures from the backseat! They have now grown up to catch these moments and appreciate not disturbing us in our drives by constantly naggin with - are we there yet question

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-atadvantage.jpeg

All in all, this was the best trip in a long time - glad we open our account of long drives with this fantastic experience!

And as usual, Google photos, threw another collage at us this morning:

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-collage.jpg

Now we are looking forward to another trip - another long drive, another vacation! Hoping to cross 10K within the 5 months!
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Old 3rd April 2022, 11:21   #77
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by padmrajravi View Post
Any plans to blackout the six vertical lines in the grill? I think the XUV will look a lot more menacing if those silver lines were not there.
Thanks. Yep - someday soon. Also, the monikers on the rear tailgate will disappear too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sridhar-v View Post
Did you have to modify the RC, at your local RTO, for the wrap?
Nope, not planning to do so. Comes with some risk, but took the dive anyway.

Every March end or beginning of April, we see beautiful flower blooms almost all around Bangalore. Different shades of pink and white with occasional purple flowering trees make the sight in town worth the drive. Just step out of the house and in the neighbourhood of almost every "Nagar" in South Bangalore, HSR, you will see these sights - and clicking the picture of these flowering trees along with the car is a must-do thing. The only challenge is to find a spot with a clean frame - just your car and the flowering trees, even if you go early morning around sunrise!

Here are some pictures for the records:

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-flowers1.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-flowers2.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-flowers3.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-flowers4.jpeg

I wish I could shoot an aerial view of the trees and car together inside the town without anything else in the frame!

Last edited by Aditya : 3rd April 2022 at 18:07. Reason: Back to back posts merged
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Old 6th April 2022, 16:52   #78
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Default Stargazing at farm stay!

Most of the time impromptu plans work the best!

The Bangalore-based techie Anish has taken an initiative to promote astronomy for young minds and oldies alike. His website https://www.risaastronomy.com/ offers a lot of programs and events. Chanced at his website through a friend and we realized that Sunday evening they are holding an event at Rocky Ridge Cafe (https://www.rockyridge.in/) - camping under the open sky with an opportunity to unwind and learn. A perfect short trip for me and my 9yr old son. He is now enjoying the summer holidays and I needed some activity to keep him occupied.

So after lunch on Sunday we headed to RRC - our old destination. We have been here before for breakfast rides and drove on the nearby Aiyaar forest circuit too. Girish, who owns the RRC is a great host and fun to interact with. Anish is a great teacher when it comes to keeping little ones engaged! The best combo - along with an apartment friend and his son, we headed to the event. The evenings are pretty clear - away from urban haze and smoke. A great way to teach kids how our 90s summer nights were. The clear sky presented a lot of opportunities to spot various satellites, and constellations and through Anish's professional telescope, we even observed nebulae! The kid in me and the one with me learned a lot that evening. Right from Sirius to Pole star to big dipper to many more Messier objects!

What made the event best was the early rising on Monday morning and seeing the Saturn Rings with our own eyes, extremely clear through the telescope! Amazing experience. Loved it. And not to mention the camping through the night, sleeping in the tents or morning walk, trek, and quick drive in our AWD to a nearby lake and hilltop. The kid that came with me was happy with everything while the kid in me was happy to use the AWD - narrow lake bund, 90 degree curved inclines with narrow roads, top of the hill, or crossing a narrow ditch by going over only stone that is under the tire!!! Got some videos that I need to stitch together and upload to YT but meanwhile, the pictures from the event are below:

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_4579.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_4600.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_4594.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_4586.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-telescope.jpg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_4608.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_4624.jpg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_4636.jpg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img20220404070413.jpg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img20220404071659.jpg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img20220404072906.jpg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img20220404080008.jpg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_4602.jpeg

The car continues to make me happy - it picked up a lot more battle scars this time (scratches from the dry twigs on narrow trails). Some of these are deep but no sweat. We will continue to wear them with pride

More trips coming up - this summer is going to be yet another best summer! Stay tuned.
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Old 6th April 2022, 17:52   #79
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Default re: Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up

This travelogue has got me itching for a Goa drive, those are some good pictures and I wish you many more of such moments!
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Old 7th April 2022, 22:39   #80
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Default re: Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up

Link

Hope this reply works. Not used to using my phone to write in tbhp.

This refers to the pic of your ride with the tow hook fixed. Did you have a problem or just kept it there to save effort and time if (God forbid) and whenever needed?

Last edited by moralfibre : 8th April 2022 at 02:55. Reason: Correcting link.
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Old 8th April 2022, 05:59   #81
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Default re: Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up

Quote:
Originally Posted by boohooper View Post
This refers to the pic of your ride with the tow hook fixed. Did you have a problem or just kept it there to save effort and time if (God forbid) and whenever needed?
😂 No, luckily never had any issues till date. And I am not expecting to get stuck too. I am hoping to rescue others and not require it myself 😉

But thatís not the reason why the hook stays there. This isnít the stock hook - I had spare made for my old car and it is slightly longer. I used to mount the CB Radio antenna on this hook (had a flat mount welded, I removed it as I donít use radio anymore). I liked it as-is sticking on the car - mostly on city trafficíed roads, no other car would come close. And if they do, most will sacrifice their headlight. And besides, this isnít the same size as stock in length so if I remove it, I canít stow it well inside somewhere. Lesser cubby holes in this car. And the worries about rear impact transfer to chassis in collision event at highway speeds, I am willing to take that risk. I am fairely confident that my car wonít be tailed so close unless I am in a traffic jam. Hope this helps.
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Old 8th April 2022, 16:33   #82
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Default re: Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up

Hey @abirnale Firstly, this thread has been really insightful and entertaining! I wanted to ask about the black roof on your XUV, where and how did you get it done? And how much did it cost? I want to get it done on my Everest white XUV when it arrives. Thank You!
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Old 8th April 2022, 17:22   #83
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Default re: Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kousie_Arima View Post
Hey @abirnale Firstly, this thread has been really insightful and entertaining! I wanted to ask about the black roof on your XUV, where and how did you get it done? And how much did it cost? I want to get it done on my Everest white XUV when it arrives. Thank You!
Hey, thanks.

The details are here and here.

The wrapping work was done at 3M Koramangala. The wrap used is the 2080 Wrap series for Dual-tone, gloss black. The total cost was about ₹28k. And no, it's not RTO endorsed

Hope this helps.
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Old 10th April 2022, 08:42   #84
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Default Re: The Red Sparkle completes 5500 Kms!

Quote:
Originally Posted by abirnale View Post

The Wednesday evening was well spent visiting the Honey Park and Supa Dam backwater. We discovered a narrow trail leading us deep into the dam-bed, closest to the water.
Looks like an awesome trip. Does Supa Dam has any place to swim, any sandy areas you may know of ?
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Old 10th April 2022, 11:52   #85
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Default Re: The Red Sparkle completes 5500 Kms!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudhalaipatti View Post
Looks like an awesome trip. Does Supa Dam has any place to swim, any sandy areas you may know of?
Thanks.

No, the dam bed itself is slushy and not sandy. Not at all advisable to get in the water there. You may want to try rafting on the Kali river - plenty of options. And the real Arabian sea beach isn't far away
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Old 14th April 2022, 15:15   #86
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Default ESP Kicking at Low Speed while going over abnormal speed breakers

The things are not as great as they sound - let's just get that straight. And before we really reach the conclusion, please read on.

Let me get the weight off my head first: current summary of ASC visits -
  • Number of Visits to ASC for prescribed service - 01
  • Number of Visits to ASC out of interest/ Accessories - 01
  • Number of Visits to ASC that I did not expect to take place - 04. Two is the number of job card records, the visits were actually 04.
And the third bullet point is what must have been avoided. There are two instances when the car was not with me (not parked where it belongs). Both are related to the last bullet point.

You must have noticed the ESP blinking issue I mentioned earlier? Here is the issue I reported:

Quote:
Whenever the car goes over a medium or large size hump at about 20-30 kmph, 3 out of 10 times the ESP kicks in. The issue itself isn't reproducible - I have done numerous drives along with technicians to no avail. But technicians have found the trace of the issue in the error logs. Apparently, there is a communication failure between the main module and ESP/ some other stuff.
Since I knew Chrome Motors staff and trusted them with my old cheetah, I preferred them to look at this issue and fix it. On the very first visit, we applied the Android Auto update and did all pending software flashing. There was a TSB (Technical Service bulletin) asking them to do software flashing and expected to have issues related to displays, errors, etc to be fixed. We expected to fix the HHC error. And it did except for the ESP blinking light.

When I went back again to Chrome asking for more investigation and details of what the root cause is, they opened the TAR (Technical Assistance Report) to seek intervention from the TechNet (the CoTek network and support system at M&M). The TechNet guys are tasked with supporting countrywide issues that the ASCs cannot fix - be it mechanical or software pr anything else related to the machine. The TAR resulted in refreshing the software. The focus though was on the silver box. The silver box is a term M&M uses for the audio head unit. It basically powers all personalization and features related to the connected car experience. at this second flashing instance, ASC and TechNet wanted to see if the error is reproduced. They kept my car for two days and gave a loaner XUV5OO AT. When they could not reproduce issues (but I could notice) they concluded that the car needs a newer silver box. They returned my car, placed the order for a replacement silver box (under warranty claim), and asked me to come back when the part arrives. Now, this was a great experience with M&M and Chrome Motors. They both worked perfectly synced with each other, ensuring zero interruptions to my schedule or plans. Since the ESP kicking in isn’t an issue that was causing any problems so far, we were all fine with this being sorted in a leisurely manner.

Last weekend, I got a call from Chrome Motors that the part has arrived and I can bring the car for replacement, flashing. It would take about 3-4 hours. All excited, I went to Chrome motors on Saturday. But the stars were probably not aligned well - it took us an entire day and yet unable to flash the software on the replaced silver box to enable the connected car features! The flashing process would stop halfway through! The technicians tried every possible way to do things - power recycling, fresh installation, network-related debugging, getting TechNet involved in live sessions - but the car wouldn’t budge to get back into the connected world. While the car was fine to drive around, I preferred to leave it behind and return home on Saturday. There were just way too many errors due to half-flashed silver box software. Sunday went by and Monday was the day Chrome CoTek put his foot down and decided to flash the software to whatever possible extent, ask for another replacement, and let the car be taken out. The TechNet also advised on similar lines. This time the issue was escalated to the highest possible level (as per ASC). I took the car back home on Monday. Chrome motors did a fantastic job - they used all the waiting time on Monday to clean the car inside out, complimentary! The engine bay was dusty - it got cleaned to my pleasant surprise! 10/10 for this easter egg!

On Wednesday evening, I got a call that the new silver box has been received by Chrome Motors and I should be bringing the vehicle to get it fitted - I wasn’t very excited if things would work but nevertheless, I went in there today. They opened the brand new box piece in front of me, got fired, and continued on the same RO and TAR. Got the new box activated with connectivity as well as completed flashing - this time without any issues! The work that started around 10 am was over by around 12.30 pm! All cleared, new silver box fitted and flashed - the car is out again on the road sparkling at its best! I am going to take it for a long drive over the weekend and will report back if any issues (especially ESP kicking in at low speeds over the hump!).

I must state that - M&M did a fantastic job. Ensured the right TechNet members were involved, the replacement parts are disputed on priority and fitted. At no point, do I needed to get on a call with any of the M&M folks! Just one update message to and from the TechNet lead over WhatsApp was all I was involved with. Rest all was done between M&M TechNet and Chrome Staff. This combo is my biggest and most important piece of owing the Mahindra car! Kudos to both.

The things to note during this ordeal:
  • The Silverbox is manufactured and programmed by Visteon. (XUV5OO was Nippon).
  • The Silverbox also has the unique IMEI and probably an eSIM that provides all connected car features. If the box is defunct, you only lose the features related to it - such as navigation, entertainment, etc. I did not try the ADAS features while this thing was going on though.
  • The silver box replacement needs a good amount of effort. It’s mounted vertically, closer to the A-pillar base, and needs the glove box and panel to be removed entirely on the passenger side. I am not praying that there won’t be any rattles from there.
  • The silver box replacement includes - disabling the existing box through the M&M network, fitting a new box, and then again enabling a new box with your car on the M&M network. All of this needs connectivity and must be done in close coordination with M&M. If any steps are skipped, interrupted, or stuck can lead to more trouble.
I hope this episode ends here and we resume our good times with The Red Sparkle!

Last edited by libranof1987 : 18th April 2022 at 18:10. Reason: As requested
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Old 18th April 2022, 17:07   #87
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Default re: Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up

Photoshoot of the Red Sabertooth



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
Can't wait for an opportunity for a Red photoshoot now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
A red car shootout would be amazing fun! Looking forward to it.
Finally got an opportunity to photoshoot @abirnale's Red Sabertooth last weekend. I had shared the photos with him, but he requested that I directly post those here. So with his kind permission, I am posting the photos here.

Before discussing the photos, let me say that the car looks absolutely fantastic in person! We had a weekend drive (more on that later) where we had three cars driving across a hilly terrain in a convoy and I absolutely enjoyed taking the middle position in that convoy. We had an Orange M340i in front of me, and this Red Sabertooth following me. The XUV700 has great road presence, and the car looked fantastic in the rear view mirror, with those bright DRLs shining through the dark forest shadows.

And not just the aesthetics part. The car was handling quite well. We were taking some fast corners on a hilly road, the car always looked planted through those turns. Many other SUVs of this size would be easily seen rolling and going all over the place during such turns, but the XUV7OO looked quite planted and well behaved.

It is a lovely car. Congratulations once again to @abirnale for this fantastic machine.

The car in red looks lovely, and it quite photogenic too. I loved the opportunity to photoshoot this, and we also got some perfect locations for this shoot. The striking element of the car, from a photographer's point of view, is the bright DRLs. They are the defining elements in the styling of the car. And therefore, it is no surprise that below photos are based on using those DRLs at key elements in the photographs too.

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-dsc_14502.jpg
The Sabertooth on a Forest Road


Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-dsc_1453.jpg
Looked right at home in these jungles


Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-dsc_14572.jpg
My favorite view of the car (and my favorite photo)


Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-dsc_14632.jpg
Two beasts lurking around in the jungles (does this qualify as a "wildlife photo"? )


Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-dsc_14712.jpg
And finally, a parting shot as the Sabertooth comes out of the hiding!


Thanks to abirnale for letting me photoshoot his car and letting me post here. Looking forward to many more drives with this car and I am sure more photoshoots will follow.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 18th April 2022 at 17:15.
Dr.AD is offline   (27) Thanks
Old 18th April 2022, 22:10   #88
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Default re: Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
Thanks to abirnale for letting me photoshoot his car and letting me post here. Looking forward to many more drives with this car and I am sure more photoshoots will follow.
Thank you AD for the lovely photographs - moreover the best time we spent in Nileswar! And it's a privilege to have you click the car, and post it here! I am compiling a bunch of other pictures including of the car to post. on Sunday, along with @RobiMahanta and @Megazoid, we attempted Mandalpatti peak! The XUV did just amazing - not even a second of nervousness or issues. Thanks for Robi's expert sighting and Megazoid's constant encouragement! Though this car isn't a match to the bavarian crossover, It is definitely a car that brings a smile to your face! I am so glad that I chose AWD! Here is a small clip from the GoPro mounted on the bonnet while coming down from the Mandalpatti Peak!


I am retrieving more pictures from the phone to post for our readers. More coming up in a day or two - stay tuned.
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Old 20th April 2022, 12:52   #89
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Default the fun continues!

Considering the Good Friday as a holiday, I had an opportunity for making something out of this long weekend. With no real plan made in advance, the opportunity came knocking on the door. A friend needed help with PDI of his AWD since he is out of the country and the fireflies season was ON in Madikeri. Knowing that the friends were also going to be there on Saturday on the coast near Mangalore and Sunday in our very own Scotland, I hatched a plan with my son. On Saturday head to Nileswar, KL via Mangalore (for PDI) and spend Sunday at Madikeri, return to Bangalore on Monday by skipping mad Sunday evening Bangalore traffic! The only thing that needed to be fixed is to use some time of this long weekend with the home minister so she gives her nod to the plan - this is going to be our second trip involving a hotel stay.

The theme of the travel for this long weekend was, in general, catching up with friends, exploring nature, and keeping the connections alive, I got the bonus of having to explore Mandalpatti in Red Sparkle!

The Friday outing was on our usual Ragihalli - Kanakapura side forest areas and lakes, hillocks. Pictures from the drive below - nothing new to talk about, just the usual fun

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_4827.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_4847.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_4894.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_4890.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_4937.jpeg

The Saturday and Sunday were more fun though. Picking up the Hassan - Belur - Charmady - Mangalore route with just me and my 9yr old son, we made it to Mangalore by 11.30 am, a good PDI session followed by perfect ice cream from Pabbas Ideal cafe, we settled in Nileswar at a beach homestay. Great drive (except the section of NH66) all across the route, perfect evening by the beachside, great time with friends, Saturday was well spent.

The Sunday was even more beautiful - started the day at the beachside, driving through great Suliya Roads, across the forest section with M340i and 320d, great food at Coorg Cuisine, and settling the evening in Madikeri in the company of another 330i - only to conclude the night with an amazing fireflies sight! What a day it was - loved the day, the drive, the machine, the company, and the time! The cherry o the cake was an impromptu plan to go to Mandalpatti peak, having the chance to drive the AWD there without any resistance from local jeepers - it's just a dream run!

Beautiful sunrise on the way to Mangalore:
Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_4954.jpeg

At a viewpoint in Charmady Ghat - this was fun drive!
Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_4966.jpeg
Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_4974.jpeg

Mangalore and Ideal Cafe ice-cream, no brainer!
Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_5033.jpeg

Beautiful beach homestay (Kailani homestay)
Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_5036.jpeg
Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_5041.jpeg

And the beachtime!
Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_5061.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_5075.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_5092.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_5094.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_5147.jpeg

The Mandalpatti drive - an adventure that will stay in our memory for long time!
Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_5020.jpeg

Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_5178.jpeg

The Rainforest Retreat is a basic accommodation place but lovely if you aren't scared of leeches and insects around - the Malabar whistling thrush will wake you up to a nice song!
Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-img_5217.jpeg

Monday morning after a lazy breakfast, sighting a few birds, and driving through the relatively easy traffic on Mysore - Bangalore section, I was back home to pick up my Monday work! It was absolutely fantastic weekend!

Now here are the interesting tidbits about the trip:
- The Red Sabertooth aka Red Sparkle proved to be an absolutely fuss-free companion. Did not throw any tantrums, not even the ESP blinking light at me
- The drive was exciting - real ghat roads with nothing else in tow, the "spirits" were high. We "zoomed" past every other doubt and car we came across!
- The AWD capability was a revelation for me. I had a second opportunity to explore (after the outing with Two Thars). While I was expecting myself to get stuck and have nervous moments, nothing of that sort happened. credit goes to the car and expert spotting support! The tires aren't A/T or M/T, yet the car behaved very well. Except for one time, nowhere did the underbelly even touch the ground! Once when it did, it was a very soft touch - zero chances of any damage. The best part - is we did this in drizzling rain! Car's first rain, ever! Loved the experience!
- When the AWD lock is applied, the car behaves very predictably. The power is constantly diverted to the rear wheels and that helped not even once slip the tires or dig in anywhere or lose grips. All the time, the car was working with AWD manually applied via MID cluster button and transmission in Auto D mode, loaded with four adults and a kid onboard.

I think if I get better grippy tires for off-road conditions (some balance with highway driving), this car will take me to more remote places than my earlier car did. Happy with the overall experience - the ODO now stands at 6941 Kms!

And to sum up, two clicks that will stay at the top of my mind are:

A little heaven's gate - Mandalpatti peak!
Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-66ab040100aa4df4972c4e8ccb11da90.jpg

The fireflies are a beautiful thing to watch, the camera can't do justice but then this is what comes out of robimahanta's camera!
Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up-f1da6282f17e416fb80c675119c18e42.jpg

Thanks to AD and robimahanta for clicking some amazing pictures on these trips!

Now looking forward to more trips, longer expeditions! Thanks for reading.
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Old 20th April 2022, 22:46   #90
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Default re: Reincarnating Orange Cheetah | The Red Sparkle Mahindra XUV700 AX7L AWD | EDIT: 20000 km up

Thank you for posting these experiences and updates on the XUV 700 AWD, they are very helpful to prospective owners like me

Had a question for you on the AWD - on your highway drives have you observed the AWD getting engaged anytime at speeds 90+/100+ ?
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