Mahindra & Mahindra, the homegrown automaker needs no introduction when it comes to SUVs. The Anand Mahindra-led company is a utility vehicle specialist with popular models like Scorpio, XUV500, Bolero, and others. However, the recent performance of Mahindra shows the carmaker is losing out business under stiff competition.
Ironically, when automotive business revenues have grown 12 percent in the last five years in India, Mahindra's profit plunged to almost half to Rs 1,412 crore in FY17. The huge fall is from the Rs 2,596 crore at end of FY13. Adding salt to the wound, Mahindra's SUV share crashed to 25 percent at end of FY18 from its peak market share of 55 percent in FY12.
Before it's too late, Mahindra is all set to reboot its passenger vehicle business. Around four new vehicles have been queued up for the coming months. The Indian automaker is not ready to water down its SUV specialist tag and hence all upcoming models are utility vehicles. In addition, locally suited BS 6-compliant diesel engine is also under works.
Let's take a look at the new Mahindra SUVs.
2018 Mahindra XUV500 facelift
Mahindra will kick-start the revival mission with the launch of new XUV500 on April 18. The new XUV500 will get differently styled front and rear ends. The SUV will get new grille with chrome touches while headlights will get projector lamp and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs). The front bumper will be tweaked. At the rear, the new tail lamp cluster and tailgate along with reworked rear bumper and chrome number plate garnish will be the new additions.
Mahindra XUV500 facelift is expected to draw power from the same 2.2-litre mHawk diesel engine. The mill in the lower spec will continue to develop 140hp of power and 330Nm of torque while the higher-spec models have been rumored with 155hp and 360Nm of torque. The new XUV500 will also continue to be in G9 petrol AT variant, which will get 2.2-liter mill mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Mahindra U321 MPV
Mahindra will also step into the premium MPV space in India which is the domain of Toyota Innova Crysta. It will be the company's first MPV based on the monocoque platform and has been developed at its North American Technical Centre (MNATC) in Michigan and Mahindra Research Valley in Chennai.
The spy shots suggest U321 will feature typical MPV silhouette and chunky front and rear bumpers. Mahindra is expected to offer projector headlamps with LED DRLs, prominent front grille, 16-inch alloy wheels and more with the MPV. Under the hood, the new U321 is expected to get a 1.6-litre mFalcon diesel engine with 123bhp of power. The MPV may also come with a 2.2-litre mHawk engine.
Mahindra S201 compact SUV
Since Mahindra KUV100 and TUV300 didn't fetch sales as envisioned, Mahindra may launch yet another compact SUV that will go up against the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. Codenamed S201, the new compact SUV is expected share underpins with the SsangYong Tivoli.
The S201 is expected to get the 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol unit that does duty in the Mahindra KUV100 in a re-tuned version with direct fuel-injection and 1.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel mill.
SsangYong Rexton as rebadged Mahindra SUV
Mahindra will also foray into the premium SUV segment. To be pitted against the Toyota Fortuner, Mahindra SUV will be rebadged version of the SsangYong Rexton. The Rexton with Mahindra badging was showcased at Auto Expo 2018 and it is will get a new name for the launch.
Mahindra will be launching the new flagship SUV around the festive season of this year. The new SUV will get features like 9.2-inch HD touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a 360-degree camera, a 7.0-inch LCD instrument cluster, cooled seats, Nappa leather upholstery and a smart tailgate.
Mahindra is expected to come with a 2.2-litre diesel engine that develops 187hp of power and 420Nm of torque mated to a seven-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox sourced from Mercedes-Benz.