Likely to be launched in the first quarter of 2018, the Mahindra U321 MPV will rival the Toyota Innova Crysta.
Homegrown automaker, Mahindra is all set to launch its new flagship MPV, codenamed Mahindra U321. Currently in testing phase, the new MPV will make its global debut at the 2018 Delhi Auto Expo in February. This model is designed and developed by Mahindra’s North American Technical Centre. In terms of pricing, this MPV will be positioned between Maruti Ertiga and Toyota Innova Crysta. The new model will use monocoque underpinnings and will feature a spacious three-row seat configuration. Interestingly, the U321 MPV will also mark the introduction of Mahindra’s new 1.6-litre mFalcon diesel engine. This engine has been co-developed by SsangYong and Mahindra.
The Mahindra U321 will replace the ageing Xylo. It will be a feature loaded car and will rival the likes of Renault Lodgy, Toyota Innova and top-end variants of Maruti Ertiga. This model is expected to sport conventional design and styling elements such as Mahindra’s toothed grille, bulbous headlamps with projector headlamps and split radiator air-inlets. It will come with a premium and feature-loaded cabin. Some of the interior highlights include a dual-tone dashboard, chrome trim for air-conditioning vents, AC control and gearshift lever, a large touchscreen infotainment system, automatic climate control, etc. Read More – Upcoming Mahindra Cars In India
With over 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. Besides U321, Mahindra will also launch a seven-seater premium SUV based on new age SsangYong Rexton and a compact SUV – codenamed S201 at the 2018 Delhi Auto Expo.
Touchscreen infotainment system
Multi-functional steering wheel
ABS + EBD + Brake Assist
Reverse parking camera
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. This new model will make its global debut at the 2018 Delhi Auto Expo in February, while the launch could take place before the end of March.
|Minimum (Expected)||Rs 10 lakh|
|Maximum (Expected)||Rs 15 lakh|
The homegrown UV maker will aim to position the Mahindra U321 MPV somewhere between the Maruti Ertiga and Toyota Innova, which will position it in a range of a Renault Lodgy. In terms of pricing, except 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.
The new Mahindra MPV will be based on the monocoque platform that also underpins the XUV500. It is likely to be lighter than its arch rival Innova Crysta that underpins the ladder-frame chassis. Underpinnings used in the U321 MPV have been developed by the Mahindra’s North American Technical Centre (MNATC) in Troy, Michigan. The pictures of the MPV give inkling of the design and styling that will 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. The premium MPV will sport a boxy design with multiple creases and curves. Talking about exterior features, the U321 will get projector headlamps, LED daytime running lights, toothed front grille, ORVMs with integrated blinkers, stylish fog lamps and a roof-mounted rear spoiler with stop light. This MPV will ride on 16-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels.
Inside the cabin, the new MPV will share most of the design cues and features from Mahindra XUV500. Going by the pictures available on the web-world, it is visible that the MPV has a premium interior featuring dual-tone dashboard and chrome detailing. Chrome treatment is offered on the air-conditioning vents and controls and gearshift lever. In fact, the door handles are finished in chrome. Talking about features, the MPV comes equipped with a large touchscreen infotainment system with several connected car applications. This system will be compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Other features will include air-con vents across rows, multi-functional steering wheel, fabric upholstery, front centre armrest, leather wrapped seats, steering and dashboard, etc. As for safety, the MPV will equip anti-lock-braking system, electronic brakeforce distribution, multiple airbags and reverse parking camera.
|Engine||1.6-litre 4-cylinder mFalcon diesel|
|Gearbox||6-speed MT & 6-speed AT|
It was expected that the new premium MPV will source power from the same 1.99-litre mHawk diesel unit that does duty on the Mahindra XUV500. This engine is good for 140bhp and 320Nm of torque. New reports suggest that the Mahindra U321 MPV will get a 1.6-litre turbocharged mFalcon engine that is co-developed by Mahindra and SsangYong. This engine is capable of producing 125bhp of power and 305Nm of torque. These figures are much higher than its rival Renault Lodgy’s 1.5L dCi engine that produces 110PS/245Nm. 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
Mahindra is also working on a range of new petrol engines ranging from 1.2-litre, 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre displacement. It is expected that U321 could get a new 1.5-litre petrol unit, being developed jointly by Mahindra and its Korean subsidiary, SsangYong. Both manual and automatic versions of the MPV will be on offer.
The company will aim to achieve higher fuel efficiency with this MPV to position it well against segment leaders. We believe that the diesel model could deliver around 18kmpl, while the petrol unit could return close to 14-15kmpl.
The new MPV will come equipped with dual-front airbags and ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic BrakeForce Distribution) as standard safety features. The top-end model could feature multiple airbags, hill launch assist, reverse parking camera and electronic stability programme.
In terms of pricing, this MPV will be positioned somewhere between the Maruti Ertiga and Toyota Innova Crysta. While the entry level models of the MPV will challenge the likes of Ertiga, Renault Lodgy and others, the top-end model will take on segment leader – Toyota Innova Crysta.
Image Source – IAB