While it is no secret that Indian utility vehicle major Mahindra and South Korean SUV major Ssangyong have tied hands for joint product development, the first fruits of this joint effort will begin appearing in 2015. For the record, Mahindra now owns Ssangyong. The Mahindra XUV500 crossover, a flagship vehicle of the automaker, will be the first product to benefit from the Indo-Korean tie up.
In 2015, the XUV500 will get a 6 speed automatic gearbox jointly developed by Mahindra and Ssangyong. Currently, the crossover features a 6 speed manual gearbox that drives its front wheels. The new 6-speed automatic gearbox that Mahindra and Ssangyong are developing will also be used on a Ssangyong SUV, the details of which remain sketchy at the moment. The XUV500 is powered by a 2.2 liter turbo diesel engine that outputs 140 Bhp-330 Nm.
It must be noted that the only automatic gearbox that Mahindra offers on its utility vehicle range is that of the Scorpio SUV. The 6 speed slushbox was initially sourced from Australian (now Chinese) transmission maker DSI (Drivertrain Systems International), and is now said to be sourced from Bosch. In light of this, it remains to be seen if other Mahindra SUV models will benefit from the new 6-speed automatic gearbox that the automaker is developing with Ssangyong.
At the 2014 Indian Auto Expo, Mahindra showcased a Quanto compact SUV equipped with an automated manual transmission (AMT). The AMT, developed by UK based engineering major Ricardo, will be launched in the Quanto in the second half of the year. If found successful on the Quanto, the AMT is likely to make its way onto other Mahindra vehicles as well. As of now, automakers in India are making a beeline for the AMT, given the technology’s cost effectiveness and higher fuel efficiency vis-a-vis traditional torque converter automatics.
Lined up below is CarToq’s video reportage of Mahindra’s Auto Expo pavilion,