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Mahindra readying five launches for 2018

Autocar India logo Autocar India 13-04-2018 Akbar Merchant

Mahindra is gearing up to introduce five new models in the Indian market this year. The company's plan includes the launch of four all-new models and one facelift, as opposed to only product refreshes that were seen last year. Here are the models expected to hit the market in 2018. 

Mahindra XUV500 facelift

Launch date: April 18, 2018

The first model from Mahindra this year will be the heavily updated XUV500. Mahindra’s updated flagship will launch on April 18, 2018. Details revealed tell us that the refreshed XUV500 will get a more powerful 155hp diesel engine. This new motor will be a 2.2-­litre unit and will churn out 360Nm of torque. Transmission duties will be undertaken by a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic gearbox. Mahindra will also offer AWD on the top-spec W11 variant. Additionally, the SUV will come with spruced-up interiors with quilted leather seats and the works. 

Mahindra U321 MPV

Expected launch timeline: Mid-2018. 

The upcoming U321 MPV will mark Mahindra’s foray into the popular MPV market which is dominated by the Toyota Innova Crysta at the top and the Maruti Ertiga at the bottom. The U321 MPV has been undergoing testing for almost a year now and is likely to launch sometime in mid-2018. From the spy shots, one can make out that the new MPV is a clean- slate design and is expected to be slightly bigger than the Ertiga. On the inside, it will get a dual-tone dashboard, a large touchscreen infotainment system, climate control with AC vents for all three rows and a spacious cabin. The U321 will get 16-inch alloys with Apollo Apterra tyres, at least on the higher-spec variant. There is no confirmation on the engine, but according to sources, it's likely to be a 1.6-litre diesel. 

Mahindra TUV300 Plus

Expected launch timeline: June 2018

Mahindra TUV300 Plus (top left), Mahindra U321 MPV (top right), new Rexton (bottom left), new Compact SUV (bottom right).: Mahindra readying five launches for 2018 © Akbar Merchant Mahindra readying five launches for 2018

As the name suggests, the TUV300 Plus is a lengthened version of the sub-four-metre TUV300. The model has been seen on the roads multiple times. The body of the TUV300 Plus seems more proportionate, compared to the standard version. Mahindra has tweaked the rear styling a bit and it gets new-design tail-lamps that extend to the sides. Powering the TUV300 Plus will be a 120hp, 1.99-litre engine. While Mahindra introduced a few units of this SUV earlier, an official launch is expected this June. 

Mahindra sub-four-metre compact SUV

Expected launch timeline: 2018 festive season

Mahindra has been testing the SsangYong Tivoli-based SUV for the Indian market, (codename S201) for a long time now. We reported earlier that this new SUV will come in two body styles – a sub-four-metre 'Compact' version that will take on the Vitara Brezza and a slightly larger model that will rival the Creta. Sources tell us that Mahindra is likely to first launch the 'Compact' version in the second half of the year. Mahindra seems to have shaved off around 200mm from the standard Tivoli – mainly from after the rear wheel – to achieve the sub-four-metre length. In order to keep costs in check, the compact S201 will share most of its body panels, including the doors, with its larger Creta rival. However, as seen from the images, the rear styling could be unique in terms of tailgate design with horizontally placed tail-lamps and a different design for the bumper. 

Mahindra Rexton 

Expected launch timeline: 2018 festive season

The second-gen Rexton was unveiled at Auto Expo 2018 and has already been spied testing in India. This Mahindra SUV is likely to hit showrooms sometime around Diwali this year. The second-gen Rexton for India won't be a mere badge-engineering job but will get Mahindra’s grille design as well as subtle styling tweaks.  Additionally, the SUV will feature a slightly tweaked suspension, different ride height and handling package to suit Indian road conditions. The India-spec SUV will get a 2.2-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine that generates 187hp and 420Nm of torque, paired to a seven-speed auto gearbox. It'll also get the option of 2WD and AWD. The Mahindra Rexton will be assembled in India and is likely to be priced Rs 3-4 lakh lower than the segment-leading Toyota Fortuner. The five-model product offensive will significantly boost Mahindra's chances of clawing back the market share it lost to Maruti in utility vehicle sales. Mahindra's UV market share dropped to 25.38 percent in the year ending March 2018, from 29.20 percent a year ago, when it was a market leader. Maruti's share in the segment, however, grew to 27.53 percent from 25.69 percent in the same timeframe.

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