What do we have here? A taped-up mystery MPV roaming the streets of Chennai. We know what it is, and you should to if you’ve been following the recent developments of the Mahindra & Mahindra that was announced last-month.
In February-2017, the Mahindra had confirmed that they have invested Rs. 1,500 crore at its Nasik and Igatpuri plants in Maharashtra for the development and manufacture of a new product codenamed ‘Mahindra U321’. The company had not revealed details about the Mahindra U321 so far, not even what vehicle category to which it will belong to.
However, from spy shots, it is surmised that the secret project is the Innova-Hexa rivaling MPV. It is been further reported that the upcoming MPV is the first project developed by the Mahindra North American Technical Center in Troy, Michigan. Mostly based on a monocoque platform of the XUV500, the U321 MPV will have a front-wheel drive drivetrain layout.
The eight-seater MPV is likely to borrow the XUV500’s engine. That means it will be powered by a 2.2-litre mHawk diesel engine that produces max power of 140 bhp and peak torque of 330 Nm. It is likely to come with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. A petrol option is also likely to be introduced at a later stage, given that Mahindra plans to launch the MPV in India in the middle of FY 2017-2018.
This vehicle, as per sources, could be a long due replacement for the ageing Mahindra Xylo MPV. It could be priced somewhere in the Rs. 12-17 lakh range, and will compete with the Toyota Innova Crysta and the new Tata Hexa in the segment.
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