24 Hours Speed Endurance Challenge: Breaking the record with the XUV700!
On October 11, the lead Mahindra XUV700 crossed the timing beam on the main straight of the MSPT at 11AM, and broke the previous national record for the maximum distance covered in 24 hours which stood at 3161 km. While the entire team working on the 24 Hours Speed Endurance Challenge was elated, we still had to find out how much further we could push the XUV700s in the last few hours that remained.
Having broken the national record already, the drivers were instructed to take it relatively easy. For the laps that would follow, the four XUV700s settled into a slipstream to conserve fuel. Looking at the four cars passing by in a high-speed convoy was a brilliant sight to see. Crew members at the pit wall continued to monitor the fuel status of the cars, swiftly refuelling the XUVs as and when required.
As we got closer to the 24 hour mark, there was an even higher level of excitement among the crew as well as the drivers, who were already engaging in friendly banter over the walkie talkies. But even the best laid plans can go askew – as Mother Nature proceeded to demonstrate by drenching us with a torrential downpour during the last half hour. With the water starting to build up, all the drivers had to ditch speed in favour of safety, continuing to proceed with caution at lower speeds. Finally, when the XUV700 leading the pack crossed the main straight of the MSPT at the end of 24 hours, everybody in the crew heaved a big sigh of relief. While the rain had us completely trenched, we were eager to know the number of kilometres that the drivers managed to rack up in the XUV700s.
Finally, we had the big number – 4384.73 kms – that’s what the diesel manual XUV700 managed to rack up in 24 hours. We hadn’t just broken the existing national record, but shattered it by a fair margin! In addition to the main record, the other three SUVs had also clocked more than 4000 kms and broke more than 80 national records in the process! The XUV700 was also the first SUV to break these national records, and after the run, the cars didn’t look any worse for wear from when they started out, apart from the bug splatter – an incredible feat for a homegrown SUV from an Indian manufacturer.
Were it not for the downpour, the leading XUV would’ve managed to cross the 4500km mark. All the ifs and buts aside, when the adjudicator from the India Book of Records handed over the provisional certificate for the record, the hard work that had taken place over the previous 24 hours seemed entirely worth it. If there was one thing that remained to be done, it was taking off our soggy shoes which had been completely soaked in the downpour.
All said and done, the 24 Hours Speed Endurance Challenge was a marvellous spectacle of engineering, truly showcasing the capability and reliability of the Mahindra XUV700 in an event of epic proportions.