Mahindra and Mahindra is working on a slew of new launches for the upcoming year. The company has revealed that they will be launching their first and most important product for 2017, the U321 (Innova rival) later in the year, which will be followed by the S201, which is the Creta rival.
What is the U321?
The U321 is an all-new MPV, which Mahindra is developing. Mahindra is benchmarking this against the Toyota Innova Crysta. The company has even bought their own 2.4 liter Crysta, which has been spotted testing alongside the U321. The U321 will have the new Imperio style grille with the chrome surrounds. The company is betting big on the U321. It will feature a monocoque construction, something that hasn’t been used in a Mahindra MPV yet. Currently, the company only has the Xylo, which is based on a ladder and frame chassis. In terms of space and practicality, there is nothing that comes close to the Innova currently and Mahindra is trying hard to achieve similar levels of space and practicality. The U321 will have 3 frontward facing rows of seating and will have the option of bench or captain seats in the middle row.
The U321 has been developed in the company’s North American Technical Center. The company has invested 1500 crores in their Nasik and Igatpuri plants for the development of this vehicle and its powertrain. While engine details are not yet clear, there are reports that the U321 could get an all-new 1.6 liter m-Falcon engine, which will be used in upcoming models as well. This engine will reportedly make 130 Bhp. In terms of equipment, we expect the U321 to be fully loaded, like all-new Mahindras. It will have a touch screen system with Apple Car Play and Android Auto, climate control, projector headlamps, LED tail lamps.
What about the Creta rival?
Mahindra is also looking at an all-new model, to rival the Creta. This will be the S201. At the 2016 Auto Expo, Mahindra showcased the Ssangyong Tivoli, which they had planned to bring in to the Indian market. However, the Ssangyong brand was unsuccessful in the Indian market, due to which Mahindra decided that they would launch their own iteration , which is based on the Tivoli, to rival the Creta. This vehicle will be introduced in 2018 though. This will be the first vehicle to have been jointly developed by Ssangyong and Mahindra. In the international market, the company is offering the Tivoli with a 1.6 liter engine in both petrol and diesel guise. While we expect the same 1.6 liter diesel engine to be offered in India too, there is no clarity on the petrol engine yet. Mahindra currently doesn’t have any petrol engine larger than 1.2 liters and is in the process of developing a whole range of new petrol engines. Mahindra is also developing a new 1.5 liter petrol in collaboration with Ssangyong and this vehicle will most likely be getting the same.
The S201 will be not only look premium, but the company plans to equip it with premium features as well, like dual zone climate control, smart infotainment system with Apple Car Play and Android auto in addition to the key-less go feature. While we have seen the vehicle testing using the Tivoli like body shell, it will have exteriors and interiors that are different from the Tivoli. It will be based on the same X100 platform that the Tivoli is based on. We expect the company to showcase the vehicle at the 2018 Auto Expo and launch it post that.