In collaboration with its Korean partner SsangYong Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is in the process of developing completely new engines for future compact cars and Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs). Interestingly, the auto maker has employed massive Rs. 4300 crores in this project. These engines are being developed at the Mahindra’s research and development centre, known as the Mahindra Research Valley, located close to Chennai.
New 1.2 litre engines are expected to get 3 cylinders, whereas the 1.5 litre and 1.6 litre engines would be getting 4 cylinders. It must be noted that all these engines would be built as per modular character. Two near gearboxes, one of which is 5-speed and the other is 6-speed, are also under the process of development. The 1.5 litre engine is to be used for a new range of Mahindra compact SUVs with codenames S101 and S102. These new engines are expected to be capable of producing a power output of 110 bhp. Interestingly, Mahindra may be contemplating removing the 1.5 litre K9K Renault motor from its Verito sedan, as using in-house engines would the reduce cost for auto maker.
In addition, for transverse applications, a new trans-axle is being developed. Scorpio, XUV500 and Xylo will continue to use the 2.2 litre mHawk engines, but the bigger 2.5 litre mEagle engine is expected to be discontinued for big UVs. New engines are anticipated to be available for production by end of 2014 or early 2015. The latest engines would be manufactured as per Euro VI emission standards. Engine specialists AVL from Austria is also expected to provide further expertise on this ambitious project. With this move, it is quite clear that the country's largest UV manufacturer has big plans for India in the future.
Since the launch of the Scorpio, Mahindra & Mahindra has become a force to reckon with in the utility vehicle segment. On the other hand, Mahindra XUV500 took styling and performance of an SUV to a completely new level. It must be noted that the company was able to sell many more vehicles than expected through computerised booking, especially in the initial phase of its launch. With the introduction of Quanto, M&M entered the highly competitive compact SUV segment, which now has vehicles like Renault Duster, Premier Rio and the soon-to-be-launched Ford EcoSport. One hopes that the new engines would help M&M to establish new benchmarks of performance in the automobile industry and further consolidate its strong position. .