Weeks ago, the National Green Tribunal temporarily banned the registration of diesel cars and SUVs that had 2,000 cc+ engines in the NCR. 3 of Mahindra’s best selling vehicles, the Bolero, Scorpio and the XUV500 were badly hit by the diesel ban. Here’s how Mahindra is fighting back.
Mahindra’s engineers have quickly developed a sub-2 liter turbo diesel engine. This engine, said to displace about 1.9 liters, is to be based on the 2.2 liter mHawk diesel. Mahindra is likely to have downsized the 2.2 liter engine to meet the sub-2 liter bracket. Also see – Ban or no ban, 15 diesel cars & SUVs you can still buy across India
The Scorpio with such an engine is said to have passed re-homologation at ARAI, a government mandated test that every vehicle or its altered version has to pass in India, before allowed to go on sale. Soon, the XUV500 is also expected to clear this test. In all likelihood, these SUVs could begin selling in the NCR even before the 31st March deadline.
Notably, the power and torque levels of the downsized turbo diesel engine isn’t affected, says a web report. This is plausible as modern day turbo diesel engines can be tuned to output various power and torque levels. For instance, the 2.2 liter diesel engine on the Scorpio makes 120 Bhp-280 Nm. Also see – After Diesel ban, here comes the diesel tax
On the XUV, these outputs are bumped up to 140 Bhp-330 Nm. The smaller (sub-2 liter) diesel engine is also likely to retain the outputs of the larger 2.2 liter mHawk unit. All said, Mahindra doesn’t seem to have figured out a way to bring back the Bolero on sale. The Bolero is Mahindra’s best selling vehicle.
Some of the Xylo MPV variants use the 2.2 liter mHawk turbo diesel engine. Therefore, it’s likely that the new, 1.9 liter downsized diesel motor will make it to the Xylo as well. However, it remains to be seen if the low volume Thar (which is sold with 2.5 liter DI and CRDe engines) off roader gets the new 1.9 liter motor as well.
So, how did Mahindra manage to respond so quickly to the Supreme Court judgment?
It’s likely that the 2 liter turbo diesel engine has been under development for quite a while, and now that the courts have banned 2 liter+ diesel engines from registration in the NCR, Mahindra could have simply brought this engine to the market. This, as engine development isn’t something that happens overnight. Even at record speed, it takes many months to many years. Also see – Cars only to blame for 2% of pollution – IIT Kanpur
Why is Mahindra bringing a new engine just to service one market?
First of all, the market in the NCR is one of the largest in the country.
Secondly, what happens in the NCR today could happen across the country given the high air pollution levels many cities are struggling with. Mahindra clearly seems to be betting on the future, by quickly bringing in the downsized diesel engine. Also see – Diesel car ban blessing in disguise?