Sometimes in off-road conditions, light weight and skill of the driver may come more handy than increased ground clearance. Check out this video of a Mahindra Scorpio and Tata Tiago to see what we mean.
The Indian auto market is slowly but surely starting to get dominated by SUVs, their high ground clearance making sense for India’s less than perfect road conditions. However, people mistake that increased ground clearance with good off-road capability. Doing well in off-road conditions is mostly dependent on the driving skills and experience of the person behind the steering wheel. Check out this video we came across that shows Mahindra Scorpio struggling over an obstacle whereas a Tata Tiago traverses it with ease to see what we mean.
The video has been uploaded by One Living Life on YouTube and has been shot in Arunachal Pradesh. The person was travelling to Walong Town from Parashuram which is officially the Eastern-most town of India. He saw a Mahindra Scorpio and Tata Tiago trying to go through a rough patch of road. Due to very heavy rainfall, the road condition is very poor with minimal grip. The Tiago crosses the broken roads with relative ease, but the Scorpio which was just behind finding to cross the same stretch difficult. The SUV is scrabbling to find grip, with the rear tyre free spinning in the air. After not much success, the Scorpio has to reverse and drive at a higher speed to have the necessary amount of momentum to cross the patch successfully.
There were many factors for the Mahindra Scorpio struggling to cross the rough patch in the video. The Scorpio 4x2 is a rear-wheel-drive model and doesn’t get a limited-slip differential, which means if one of the wheels are in the air, the engine doesn’t transfer the full power to the wheel with traction. This results in the failure of the engine’s power to move forward as the wheel in the air is wasting the energy. Furthermore, front-wheel-drive vehicles are easier to drive uphill compared to rear-wheel-drive as the engine’s weight over the front axle gives the vehicle more traction and the former pulls the vehicle, unlike the latter’s pushing. You’ll notice that in hilly terrains of India, small hatchbacks like the Maruti 800 and Alto are more common than big SUVs because of their FWD configuration and light weight.