Mahindra and Mahindra will strengthen its utility vehicle portfolio in India is by adding new models this year. One of these new models is a Toyota Innova Crysta rival, codenamed U321 MPV. The car has been spotted testing on Indian roads earlier, suggesting the design and styling. The upcoming MPV will be based on the Ssangyong Tivoli's platform and is expected to replace the Xylo in the country. The U321 will use the company's monocoque platform that has been developed by Mahindra’s North American Technical Center (MNATC) in Troy, Michigan. The monocoque platform is made of single shell and is claimed to be light in weight that improves the performance as well as the fuel-efficiency of the vehicle. The new MPV will be developed at Mahindra's Vehicle Development Centre, Mahindra Research Valley in Chennai.
The new U321 MPV will be powered by a 1.99 litre diesel engine that will produce 140 hp of power and 320 Nm of torque. The car will also get a 2.2 litre m-Hawk unit with 140 hp of power and 330 Nm of peak torque. It is expected that the carmaker might also equip the U321 with a 2.5 litre diesel unit that also powers the Xylo along with a new 1.5 litre petrol engine. The engines will be paired to a standard 6-speed manual gearbox, while some variants are likely to get an automatic transmission and 4WD (Four-wheel drive) option.
The latest spy shots of the Mahindra U321 MPV, despite being heavily camouflaged, infer that the car will get LED headlamps with DRL's (Daytime Running Lamps) and a rear windscreen wiper. The cabin will get a touchscreen infotainment system along with automatic climate control and a 7 seat configuration.
The new Mahindra U321 MPV is expected to be launched in the second half of this year and will compete with the Toyota Innova Crysta and the Tata Hexa. After the launch of the U321 MPV, Mahindra will launch its new SUV and electric vehicles by next year in the country. It is crucial for this new MPV to be successful as both the key competitors are already well-established and the Xylo lacks the brand appeal of the other two vehicles when it comes to the personal vehicle market.
Image of Mahindra Xylo for representation purpose only