PIK-UP. What a wonderful name for a, well, pick-up truck, aka ute, bakkie or lori, depending on where in the world you are.

However, most of the western world calls a ute a pick-up truck, so Mahindra applied simple logic to its workhorse, dropped the ‘c’ and called it a Pik-Up.

The huge Indian company, which is also the world’s biggest maker of tractors, has sold its Pik-Ups and other models in Australia for the past 10 years, but the brand remains relatively obscure.

That might change with its just-launched 2018 Pik-Ups, all-new and tailored to Australian conditions after six months and 80,000km of testing.

The latest models, S6 and S10, have been given a new look, more muscle in the ‘mHawk’ turbo-diesel motor, a new six-speed transmission and classy and spacious new interior.

The two have similar looks and mechanical bits, but while the S6 is a workhorse, the S10 has more SUV-like specification.

The uprated 2.2litre four-pot diesel has a variable geometry turbocharger with output of 103kW and 330Nm, the latter from a very low 1600rpm, which translates to impressive performance and great towing power.

 

Transmission is by a six-speed manual gearbox that drives the rear wheels under normal conditions, but you can select 4X4 with low range if you end up in a mudhole or on the beach.

The four-model range also comes with Eaton’s state-of-the-art mechanical locking differential as standard.

The system reacts to the wheel speed differences and automatically locks the rear axle. The result: you keep going non-stop over sand, snow, muck, ice, rocks or whatever. Or so Mahindra says.

But the Indian terrain is tougher than that of Australia, and Mahindra Pik-Ups have built a reputation there for function and reliability.

Prices start from $26,990 drive-away for S6 single cab chassis and the dual cab version is $29,490. Add $550 for a factory fitted well-side tub.

Safety features include next generation electronic stability control, a hill-holder,

ABS, EBD, dual airbags, crash protection crumple zones and collapsible steering column and Dual Cab models get Isofix child anchors in the rear seat.

The flagship S10 Double Cab, priced at $31,990 drive-away, has remote central locking, cruise control, satellite navigation, reversing camera and a multifunction steering wheel.

Plus auto wipers and ‘intelligent’ headlights, automatic climate control and a futuristic 3D-effect instrument cluster.

Arriving early next years will be a 4x2 S6 single cab chassis at $21,990.

Braked towing capacity for the 4X4s is 2.5tonnes, the fuel tank will hold 80litres, so you should get a decent run since average fuel consumption is 8.8litres/100km.

There’s no mistaking the Pik-Up for any of the other utes on the road.

Its new face, which Mahindra describes as ‘aggressive’ has a built-in bonnet airscoop, a grille with six chrome fangs and a set of mean-looking headlights.

And its tailgate makes it pretty clear that you’re behind a Mahindra.

Peace of mind? It comes with a five-year/100,000km warranty with five-year roadside assistance.

The Mahindra Group is a US$19 billion federation of companies that employs more than 200,000 people in 100 countries.

We had a look at its vehicle building plant at Pune a little while ago and the scale of operation left us stunned.

More than tractors, utes and SUVs, it’s a global player in energy, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, steel, aerospace, defence and motorcycles.

There’s even a Mahindra competing in Formula E.

You think Peugeot two-wheelers are French?

Think again.

You can get your Pik-Up in Arctic White, De-Sat Silver, Napoli Black or Red Rage.