IndianAutosBlog.com asked its readers questions they need answers for right before launch of the XUV500. Daylight images, brochure and related details are coming in a while before which we want to put out a post consisting of all the answers you want to hear.
We were not able to fit in all the questions due to Mr Wadhera's tight schedule. We will get the reserved questions answered during our next interaction with Mr Wadhera and other head honchos of the Mahindra Automotive sector.
We spoke to Mr Rajan Wadhera, Chief Executive Technology, Product Development and Sourcing and member of the Group Executive Board to field IAB's questions. For those in the dark, Mr Wadhera is the captain of the ship (sans the body roll and sail) called XUV500.
When are we going to see technology transfer from REVA (an important part of the Mahindra Group) on to products like the XUV500?
REVA has technology of electric powertrain, they don't have technology of vehicle building. So vehicle building technology is what we will give them. Electric powertrain from REVA which is motor, controller and battery integration is something that will come into our products..there is already work in progress.
People tend to give their own names or nicknames to cars. What do you think people will call the XUV500?
I think the value package we have, the name is going to be irrelevant honestly speaking. In my estimate people are going to call it XUV, people are going to call it or zuuvee. There is so much of value in the XUV. The average Indian really stretches to buy a car and there are a lot of people who stretch to buy a 9 lakh car.
In my estimate 50% of the people are stretching the limit and going beyond that. We couldn't dream of the features (side cut ins, front crash protection, European emission norms that comes to India in 2016, side impact safety feature, monocoque body, ESP) at that price. All this is priced at 17-18 lakhs (car's price) which we're going to give the customer at 11 lakhs, that is something the customer is going to come back and be proud of and enjoy. So the name to be is not a very big deal.
Are we going to see a XUV250? Will the XUV become a brand?
I think it is too early to talk about it. Let's see what happens (IAB scoop ?)
Why did Mahindra test this car for such a long period? It's almost as if the only place where the mules didn't go is the Indian Ocean.
I think it is a matter of understanding when you get into higher emission norms (Euro 5), you have to use Diesel Particulate Filter. DPF has to be caliberated, and the calibration is required at sea level high ambient, high altitude, winter, cold climates and different types of terrains. Therefore the testing should be pan India, in fact pan continents to capture the real world usage. As the technology is becoming more complex with the emission standards, you have to come to the most optimum calibration of the DPF. Hence you are forced to test it in all kinds of terrains. If you test it in just one kind of an area your calibration will not work in the other parts. That's the reason.
Being a monocoque we didn't want to take a chance. Monocoque is not like ladder frame which takes lot of abuses. Monocoque has to be tested properly.
Will the monocoque construction technique be used across the Mahindra line-up in the future?
See in a ladder frame, you have to use a north-south (powertrain placement). When it becomes compact you use east-west and use a transaxle. So wherever there is a need for east-west we have this aggregate and platform available (he's talking about the XUV500). We have just brought the first variant on this platform. There are many more to follow. Therefore we will use the platform (IAB scoop number 2 ?)
Body-on-Frame we are already experts or leaders..we have the set of aggregates to shoot for a north-south configuration. Now we were missing (a monocoque) so we have developed this and we will exploit this.
How long will Mahindra take to beat the Japanese, Europeans and other foreigners?
Now that we have a world class product in terms of meeting emission norms, crash and safety norms, looks, style, appeal what the customer is looking at, I don't think we are lacking anywhere now. It should be any moment.
We thank Mr Wadhera for giving us his time and inputs. After checking out some of our other updates, he too is going to be bitten by the IAB bug to tune in everyday!