Can the U321 do an XUV500 for Mahindra in 2017?
As testers at the MRV continue fine-tuning the Mahindra S321/Mahindra U321 for launch, a fresh batch of spy shots has surfaced on the web, courtesy Motoroids. It is the first time we get to have a clear look at the Mahindra’s U321’s dashboard.
The Mahindra U321 gets a two-tone black-beige interior color scheme. While most of the dashboard is covered for secrecy, we can make out some parts of it. The lower portion of the dashboard and centre console are in beige, and there is some usage of gloss black in the multifunction steering wheel. The instrument panel consists of a landscape MID between the tachometer and speedometer. The lavender illumination and MID backlit colour would not be to everyone's taste, but it could be a mood lighting option. One can expect bench seat and individual seat options for the second row based on the variant. A previously spotted mule clearly revealed the touchscreen infotainment system and automatic climate control.
The Mahindra U321 is an indirect replacement for the crossover-styled Mahindra Xylo. The MPV is the company’s first vehicle developed at the Mahindra North American Technical Center in Michigan. Reports say that the U321 is built on a car-like monocoque chassis, the third such model after the XUV500 and KUV100. Mahindra will offer the people mover with a new 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel engine co-developed with SsangYong. However, with Toyota Innova assumed as the arch-rival, there are speculations of the 2.2-litre mHawk diesel engine on the top-spec trims.
A petrol engine option is a given. Mahindra could offer a combination of either 1.5-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel options or 2.0-litre petrol and 2.2-litre options. Much depends on how Mahindra wants to position the vehicle, whether a proper Toyota Innova rival or also targeting the Maruti Ertiga, along the lines of Renault Lodgy and the Nissan Evalia.
Mahindra will manufacture the U321 in Nashik, Maharashtra. The company has confirmed that the sales launch will take place this year. Deliveries could start towards the middle of Q4 2017 to benefit from the spur during the festive season. Test production of the U321 has started.
[Image Source: Motoroids]