Mahindra has something of a reputation for tough-as-nails, no-frills vehicles, built like a tank and, in some respects, finished like one.
It's worth remembering that Mahindra and Mahindra got their start in 1945 building a clone of the CJ2 Jeep that was even rougher 'n tougher than the Willys original.
So, what does one do when one is saddled with a reputation of this nature? If one is Ashok Thakur, no-nonsense head honcho of Mahindra SA, one plays to it.
Thakur said: “We've had a lot of requests from customers for a no-extras, workhorse version of our Scorpio one-ton PikUp, so here it is - the Scorpio Loader.”
It comes in at R149 900.
That's 27 grand cheaper than the previous entry-level Scorpio PikUp, with the same 2.5-litre NEF turbodiesel, for which the maker quotes a conservative 74kW and 258Nm, and a five-speed manual 'box driving the rear wheels.
It has neat, unfussy new headlight units, a scoop on the bonnet, steel rims with plastic covers, mud flaps, a one-piece roof liner with moulded-in holders for sunglasses, and map pockets in the doors.
Power steering is standard - on a steering column that adjusts for tilt but not reach - as are vinyl upholstery, heating and ventilation but no aircon, no audio system, no airbags and no driver aids of any kind.
All of which sounds a lot like the old CJ2; if it's as tough as the original Jeep, that's not a bad thing.