Ford and Mahindra recently called off their proposed joint venture in a rather surprising move. The partnership would have seen as many as seven different models co-developed by both the brands. One of the most exciting products coming up from this partnership would have been Ford's new C-Segment SUV which would have been a sister car to the next-gen Mahindra XUV500. Interestingly, Ford and Mahindra will still go ahead with the plan to jointly produce the C-segment SUVs, in spite of the joint venture being called off.
Ford and Mahindra have jointly decided to work on the upcoming C-Segment SUV under a separate agreement called "Project Black". Both the brands had already begun work on their respective SUVs a while ago and had also made significant investments. The project is already in an advanced stage of development. Ford's version of the next-gen Mahindra XUV500 will thus see the light of day.
Mahindra is expected to launch the new XUV500 by April this year. The Ford C-SUV will come after a period of eight to nine months. That means we are looking at an early 2022 debut for Ford's version of the XUV500. Both the SUVs will have a lot in common, including their powertrain and underpinnings. However, both the models will have completely unique interior and exterior styling pertaining to their brand's respective design language.
The next-gen Mahindra XUV500 has been spied testing on our roads several times, even in close-to-production guise. However, we haven't have had a single sighting of Ford's version of the SUV yet. The upcoming Ford C-SUV will be filling the huge gap in Ford's lineup in India that exists between the Ecosport and the Endeavor. It will be Ford's second three-row SUV for India, after the Endeavor, but will be positioned at a much more affordable price point.
Apart from this C-SUV project, Mahindra will still be supplying Ford with their 1.2-litre TGDi turbo-petrol engine as was announced earlier. Ford will be putting this engine to use on the Ecosport as it will essentially be a replacement for the Ecosport's 1.0L turbo-petrol variant that was discontinued earlier this year as we adopted the BS6 norms. This version of the EcoSport is expected to launch later this year.
[News Source - Autocar India]