Last year we told you that Mahindra and Mahindra, the country's leading utility vehicle manufacturer is working on a Toyota Innova Crysta rival. Codenamed as U321, the new full-size MPV was recently spotted testing again around Chennai covered in heavy camouflage. The new MPV appears to be bigger than the company's Mahindra Xylo and is expected feature and seven-seater or an eight-seater layout. Details about the new U321 MPV are still quite vague but we do expect it to be launched by the end of 2018 fiscal year.
The fact that the test mule was spotted near Mahindra's vehicle development centre - Mahindra Research Valley, indicates that the MPV is in the early stages of development. The MPV is using several makeshift parts which mean we are still a long way before the MPV enters production. On that note, the production of the MPV will take place at the company's Nashik plant and last month we told you that the company is planning to make an investment of ₹ 1,500 crore for the upcoming U321.
That said, there are few exterior bits that look production-ready like - the double barrel projector headlamps with LED daytime running, the taillamps or ever the rear windshield wiper. Also from the silhouette, we can see the U321 gets the outline of a conventional MPV unlike its rival Toyota Innova Crysta, which has SUV-ish flare to it. This means utility and practicality could be one of the key aspects of building this new MPV.
While the test mule might be missing the front grille, we are quite sure that the MPV will come with Mahindra's signature grille design with the chrome highlights flanked by a beefy front bumper and a muscular bonnet. Also, the MPV is said to be built on an all-new platform and will employ a monocoque chassis, making it the third model in the company's line-up to do so after the KUV100 and XUV500. One of these images gives us a glimpse of the cabin as well, but it's still using makeshift interiors so not really much to talk about that.
There is still a lot to be revealed about the engine specifications and features but we do expect to see Mahindra's tried and tested 2.2 litre mHawk engine powering this new MPV. That being said, Mahindra is also working on a new 1.5-litre petrol engine for the XUV500 and we might get to see the new powertrain in the upcoming MPV as well, especially considering that Toyota already has a petrol variant of the Innova Crysta.
Image Source: IAB