The Bharat Stage 6 compliant versions of the Mahindra Bolero, XUV500 and TUV300 were recently spied testing in Chennai, the city that hosts the auto maker’s research and development facility. Before April 2020, all automakers in India selling internal combustion engine powered vehicles have to make their vehicles with these much tighter Bharat Stage 6 (Bs6) emission norms. Car makers across the spectrum are racing against time for BS6 compliance, and Mahindra – a leading automaker whose vehicles are predominantly diesel powered – is testing BS6 models in full swing. The BS6 compliant versions of the Bolero, XUV500 and TUV300 are likely to make their debuts by the end of this year or early next year.
The XUV500 is expected to get a brand new, 2.0 liter-4 cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that is BS6 compliant. The motor will be more fuel efficient than the 2.2 liter mHawk unit that the XUV500 currently gets. It could also get more power and torque considering the fact that it will have to power the next-generation XUV500, due in a year or two. This engine – like the mHawk unit it replaces – will have to power a range of Mahindra vehicles apart from the XUV500. The next generation Scorpio, Scorpio Getaway and the Thar are three such SUVs that are likely to use the same engine. Mahindra is also expected to introduce a BS6 norms compliant turbo petrol engine for the XUV500 and other SUVs.
As for the Bolero and TUV300, both SUVs use a 1.5 liter-3 cylinder twin scroll turbocharger equipped diesel engines in different states of tune. This engine could be replaced by the 1.5 liter-4 cylinder unit found on the Mahindra Marazzo and XUV300 in order to meet BS6 norms. Mahindra had announced that the 1.5 liter-4 cylinder diesel would be made BS6 compliant by 2020, and it makes sense for the automaker to use this engine in place of the existing 1.5 liter-3 cylinder unit. It remains to be seen whether Mahindra will also tweak the 2.5 liter M2DICR turbo diesel engine – a staple on the Bolero sold across India – to meet BS6 norms. What is c ertain though is the fact that all Mahindra Diesel SUVs that are BS6 compliant will be significantly pricier than the current versions.
Therefore, buyers seeking to save money are advised to buy the Mahindra Diesel SUVs of their choice before the end of this year, after which the automaker will kickstart the transition to BS6 norms. Apart from Mahindra, other automakers who have announced a transition to BS6 norms on their diesel cars include Tata Motors, Ford India, Hyundai and Honda. Market leader Maruti Suzuki is planning to dump diesels totally and move towards petrol, petrol-hybrid, CNG, LPG and electric cars. This could be the case with other automakers as well, but only in budget segments where a BS6 diesel car would be deemed too expensive. In the higher segments, diesels are likely to carry on.