DRIVEN | Could the exclusive Karoo Dusk be Mahindra's best Pik Up bakkie yet?

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2021 Mahindra Pik Up S11 Karoo Dusk
2021 Mahindra Pik Up S11 Karoo Dusk
Caylene Valentyn | Media House Made

• Mahindra launched a new special edition bakkie in South Africa.

• With only 15 units, the Pik Up Karoo Dusk is one of the rarest bakkies in the country.

• It features uprated suspension and plenty of visual appeal.

For more motoring stories, visit Wheels24


Mahindra South Africa has gone to great lengths to make its Pik Up even more desirable. The bakkie, launched in its current guise in January 2020, has become one of the top sellers in its segment. Customers are drawn to it because of the honest-to-Bob factor and the level of features they are treated to.

Even more, the Pik Up has an attractive asking price, with the entire range retailing between R214 999 and R451 999. The line-up consists of several models, all ranging between 4x4 and 4x2 with manual or automatic transmissions.

In September 2021, the Indian automaker launched a new top-of-the-range model to spearhead the Pik Up range in South Africa and made it as unique as it possibly could. In addition to exterior updates, this new bakkie's suspension has also been updated.

The Karoo Dusk

The Karoo name is not unfamiliar to Mahindra's bakkies. Based on the S6, S10, and S11 Pik Up derivatives, the Karoo models add unique decals to the package. The engine, gearbox and chassis remain unchanged from the models they are based on, but they do look special.

Not content with the headlining Pik Up S11 Karoo, Mahindra South Africa opted to give this bakkie another upgrade. However, it's a heck of a lot more than meets the eye.

The Pik Up S11 Karoo Dusk features a hard-wearing matt black exterior hue for an unmissable identity. The front and rear bullbars have also been upgraded, with the front unit looking particularly menacing from all angles. The 'Dusk' decals and acacia tree have been coloured in dark blue, adding to the bakkie's identity. The visual appeal is rounded off with a set of 16-inch machined off-road ally wheels shod with mud-terrain tyres.

Rajesh Gupta, CEO of Mahindra South Africa, said: "The Karoo has a special place in South African culture. It is simultaneously known for its hard and unforgiving landscape and the openness of its hard-working inhabitants. That is what inspired us with the creation of the original Pik Up Karoo. Now we are stepping it up with the S11 Karoo Dusk, which is both stunning to look at, and ready for anything the road can throw at it."

The Karoo Dusk has an asking price of R549 999. All Pik Up models are sold with a four-year or 120 000km mechanical warranty and a five-year or 90 000km service plan.

mahindra pik up karoo dusk
2021 Mahindra Pik Up S11 Karoo Dusk

Brief driving experience

What many might not know is that the Mahindra Karoo Dusk is only available in very limited numbers. How limited? Well, how does 15 for the South African market sound…

Because of the scarcity and uniqueness around this bakkie, local motor group Rola reached out to Wheels24 to come and test drive the bakkie on their 4x4 course. With the Karoo Dusk parked next to a standard S11 Karoo, one can immediately notice the differences between the two bakkies. The Karoo Dusk looks more impressive and extraordinary, hinting at the possibilities of what Mahindra SA can do when given a chance.

READ: One for lifestyle, two for business - Mahindra launches three new bakkies in SA

We took to Rola's off-road track, and immediately one could feel the uprated suspension over the standard model. Here, heavy-duty gas-filled off-road shock absorbers have been implemented to improve ride quality over the most challenging of terrains. Ground clearance remains unchanged at 210mm, but the bakkie managed its way over and through the obstacles. If anything, the improved suspension will be the bakkie's biggest selling point.

The Pik Up Karoo Dusk's engine is unchanged from the 2.2-litre turbodiesel found in the rest of the range. Power remains the same at 103kW and 320Nm and is channelled to the road via a six-speed automatic transmission.

mahindra pik up karoo dusk
2021 Mahindra Pik Up S11 Karoo Dusk

In summary

Mahindra has come a long way in South Africa, and special edition models like the Karoo Dusk are testament to a product offering locals found favour with. The Rola Group in Somerset West confirmed that they only received the one Karoo Dusk model and are in contact with several clients regarding the selling thereof.

While the bakkie is impressive, the interior is left untouched and does not exude the same aura and excitement as its rest. But given its purpose of being a track-ready off-roader, it's unlikely that owners will be too concerned about it.

The Karoo Dusk, you can say, is a very aggressive marketing exercise, but we can only hope that its success will spawn a greater production run.

mahindra pik up karoo dusk
2021 Mahindra Pik Up S11 Karoo Dusk
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