Mahindra & Mahindra has been working on a premium MPV for over two years now. The model, codenamed U321, had been spied many times in India. Latest reports indicate the MPV is currently undergoing final tests and would be launched early in 2018.
The U321 will be Mahindra's first monocoque MPV and it will be an offspring of its North American Technical Centre (MNATC) in Michigan and Mahindra Research Valley in Chennai.
Interestingly, Mahindra is gearing up for the launch of an MPV at a time when MPV segment has lost its sheen with the advent of new car segments. Recent MPV launches such as Honda Mobilio and Renault Lodgy were far from a success. Mahindra's own MPV, the Xylo, is also not doing great in terms of sales.
On the other hand, premium MPV such as Toyota Innova Crysta continues to make impressive sales. Tata Motors launched Hexa on January 18, 2017 and initial response points to success. This seems to have prompted Mahindra to work on Premium MPV.
The spy shots indicate U321 will have a typical MPV silhouette. It will have a chunky front and rear bumpers, and signature toothy seven-slat grille up front. LED daytime running lights and 16-inch wheels are details that have also been seen in test cars. The test mules also feature sloping windshield and bonnet, and short overhangs.
The cabin is expected to be roomy and large glasshouse will ensure more natural light. The MPV will have seven and eight-seat options. Mahindra is also expected to offer captain chairs for the second row. Spied test mules had all-black interiors with a generous use of gloss finish plastics and chrome-look detailing.
The MPV is also expected to get a new 1.6-litre diesel engine developed with SsangYong. The mFalcon engine is likely to produce a healthy 130hp. Mahindra is also working on a number of petrol engines for its future vehicles. Among them, a 1.8-litre petrol unit may also power the new MPV.
Source: Autocar India