Indian brand Mahindra seems to be preparing for the electric era as it announced five new SUV concept cars previewing future production models for the XUV and BE sub-brands. The concepts are based on Mahindra’s new EV skateboard platform called Inglo, using components from VW Group’s MEB architecture.
The concepts introduce us to Mahindra’s new design language which is called “heartcore”. The SUVs are divided into two different brands – the 05, 07, and 09 wear the BE emblem, while the E08 and E09 get the familiar XUV emblem.
Also Read: Mahindra Scorpio Classic Debuts In India, Updating A 20-Year-Old Design
While there are a few shared design cues including the thin LED lighting signatures and the muscular bodywork with angular surfacing, the BE-branded SUVs look more futuristic than the ones from XUV which are presumably closer to production status. We should note that all of the concepts were only shown in the form of digital renderings, which means that we’ll have to wait for the real-life prototypes.
In terms of the interior, we get to see the cabin of the BE 05 and 07, as well as the XUV E09. The BE 05 has a digital cockpit with two screens in a single panel and ambient lighting surrounding the driver. The BE 07 has a full-width screen on the dashboard alongside digital mirrors. Finally, the XUV E09 brings a more production-ready three-screen layout with larger bezels and a more conventional design for the center console. Mahindra also talks about an augmented-reality heads-up display, 5G connectivity, and over-the-air update compatibility although it is not clear if all models will get those features.
New Modular Architecture With VW Tech
The Inglo modular architecture will be using components from the VW Group’s tried-and-tested MEB platform following a recently announced agreement between the two companies. The shared components will be “the electric drivetrain, the battery system, and the battery cells”.
The Inglo architecture will be compatible with 60-80 kWh battery packs, similar to those used by VW Group’s electric SUVs. Mahindra says that the 175 kW fast charging capability will allow the battery to reach 80 percent charge in less than 30 minutes. In terms of the fully electric powertrain, the platform comes in either rear-wheel-drive form with a single electric motor producing 228 hp (170 kW / 231 PS), or in all-wheel-drive guise with dual electric motors producing a combined 335 hp (250 kW / 340 PS). Interestingly those figures are higher than the current MEB-based EV offerings from the likes of Audi, VW, and Skoda. The most powerful configuration will allow Mahindra’s EVs to accelerate from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in less than 6 seconds.
Other features highlighted in the presentation include a semi-active suspension, brake by wire technology, Level 2+ autonomy, and an expected 5-star safety rating in the Global NCAP tests. Mahindra mentioned that a total of 1 million units are set to be produced based on these underpinnings, although the final supply agreement with VW Group will be finalized towards the end of the year.
The production versions of the XUV E08/E09 and BE 05/07 will be launched between 2024 and 2026. The first model will arrive towards the end of 2024, starting from the Indian market. Together with the concept presentation, the company inaugurated its new design studio in Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK, called Mahindra Advanced Design Europe (M.A.D.E), which will operate alongside the current design studio in Mumbai, India.