Likely to be launched in the second half of 2017, the Mahindra U321 MPV will rival the Toyota Innova Crysta.
Mahindra is gearing up for the launch its new flagship MPV, internally known as Mahindra U321. Currently in its testing phase, the model was snapped near Mahindra Research Valley in Chennai, revealing details about the upcoming MPV. As reported earlier, the U321 MPV is developed by Mahindra’s North American Technical Centre and will squarely go against segment leader, Toyota Innova Crysta. The new model will use monocoque underpinnings and will feature a spacious three-row seat configuration. Under the hood, the 1.99-litre diesel engine from the XUV500 could be used for powering the MPV.
Occupying more than 50% of the total market share, Mahindra was the undisputed king of the UV segment back in FY2011-2012. With launch of new models in the UV space, Mahindra’s sales dropped substantially to under 30% in the fiscal year 2017. Betting big on its new MPV, codenamed U321, the company invested a staggering amount of Rs 1,500 crore at its manufacturing units in Nasik and Igatpuri for the development and production of the U321. While the Nashik unit will be used to produce the MPV, the Igatpuri facility is expected to be used for development and supply of engines. Just so you know, Mahindra manufactures Thar, Scorpio Verito, Xylo, NuvoSport and Bolero models from its Nashik unit. Read More – Upcoming Mahindra Cars In India
Set to replace Xylo in its line-up, the MPV is expected to sport conventional design and styling elements such as Mahindra’s toothed grille, bulbous headlamps with projector units and split radiator air-inlets. Round the back, the MPV will feature wraparound taillamps and a large windscreen with wiper. Aside from introducing new models in the market, the carmaker is also focusing on improving the current vehicles in the line-up. That said, Mahindra could roll-out facelifts of some of its existing models with better design and styling bits.
The vehicle as mentioned above will be produced at its production unit in Nashik, while the Igatpuri plant will be utilised for development and supply of powertrains. It is expected that Mahindra could launch the MPV either by the end of this year or sometime next year. If launched in 2018, we could expect to see it at the 2018 Auto Expo, early in February.
|Minimum (Expected)||Rs 10 lakh|
|Maximum (Expected)||Rs 15 lakh|
Competing with the segment leader, Toyota Innova Crysta, the U321 will be a premium model. In terms of pricing, expect the car to be priced in the range of Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. At this pricing, the model will also take on the likes of Tata Hexa and the fully loaded top-spec Renault Lodgy.
|Engine||1.99-litre 4-cylinder diesel|
|Gearbox||6-speed MT & 6-speed AT|
The premium MPV will source power from the same 1.99-litre mHawk diesel unit that does duty on the Mahindra XUV500. This engine makes maximum power of 140bhp with peak torque of 320Nm. The engine is likely to be linked with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Read – All Mahindra Cars To Have Petrol Engine
It is expected that U321 could also get a 1.6-litre petrol unit, being developed jointly by Mahindra and its Korean subsidiary, SsangYong. It is to be noted that Mahindra is developing a range of petrol engines in collaboration with SsangYong, which will be used in its future models. These engines will have a capacity of 1.2-litre to 1.6-litre.
Touchscreen infotainment system
Multi-functional steering wheel
ABS + EBD + Brake Assist
Reverse parking camera
Expected to be based on the monocoque platform, the upcoming MPV is likely to be lighter than its arch rival Innova that underpins the ladder-frame chassis. The MPV was recently spied in Chennai, near company’s vehicle development centre-Mahindra Research Valley. Underpinnings used in the new MPV have been developed by the Mahindra’s North American Technical Centre (MNATC) in Troy, Michigan.
The spy shots of the MPV give inkling of the design and styling that is likely to be conventional. In a bid to accommodate seven-seat layout, the model will sit on a larger wheelbase and short overhangs, carving out more space for the occupants.
The face of the MPV will have similar elements from the current Mahindra models. That said, the front profile will feature Imperio resembling pick-up truck, large bumpers with striking air-inlets and fog lamp enclosures with new design. It is expected that the premium MPV will sport a boxy design with multiple creases and curves.
Inside the cabin, the MPV will share most of the design cues and features from Mahindra XUV500. On the feature front, expect it to get a touchscreen infotainment system, air con vents across rows, multi-functional steering wheel, automatic climate control, leather wrapped seats, steering and dashboard. As for safety, the MPV will equip anti-lock-braking system, electronic brakeforce distribution, multiple airbags and reverse parking camera.