Ford and Mahindra announced a strategic alliance last year to explore synergies across various domains including powertrain, connected technologies, platforms, etc. The alliance will achieve fruition by 2020 when the next generation Mahindra XUV500 (codenamed W601) makes its debut at the Auto Expo.
The new XUV500 will be underpinned by an all-new monocoque platform, complete with a new 2.0-liter diesel engine, increased dimensions, and fresh design inside out. This platform will also spawn a new Ford SUV.
Based on the same platform, a new Ford SUV will is also in the making, which is codenamed W605. It is slated to be launched in 2021. This Ford SUV too will be manufactured at Mahindra’s Chakan factory alongside the new XUV500.
The new Ford SUV will share its platform, engines, and several other components with its Mahindra sibling but it will carry a distinctly different design and appeal. While the next gen XUV500 would be primarily styled by Mahindra Group’s subsidiary Pininfarina, the new Ford’s styling language is expected to be inspired by the immensely popular F150 pick-up truck.
Both SUVs will be powered by Mahindra’s newly developed 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine which is said to have its power output in the ballpark of 180 PS. Both manual and automatic transmissions would be on offer. The fully-loaded variants are expected to be equipped with a comprehensive AWD system. Both models would be larger than the current XUV500 and will offer 3 rows of seating.
Co-developing products on a common architecture, and manufacturing them at the same facility would led to significant cost and time savings to both manufacturers. In the case of Mahindra and Ford, a report says that savings could exceed Rs 7,000 crores.
For customers, this would translate into competitive pricing. Given that the Mahindra XUV500 and its Ford counterpart are set to face some stiff competition from the likes of next gen Hyundai Creta (a 7-seat variant is in the making), MG Hector, and Tata Harrier’s 3-seat derivative, pricing would be a key parameter for success.