Mahindra’s answer to the Toyota’s hugely-popular Innova Crysta seems to be in its final stages of testing as it gears up for its imminent launch. The U321, as it has been codenamed, is likely to head up-market as it will sit at a price-point equivalent or slightly less than the XUV500.
Previously, we have already shown you images that reveal the up-swept headlamps, narrow & tall taillamps and the signature toothy grille from Mahindra. The new mule which was spotted testing by AutoX near Belgaum, Karnataka continued to sport heavy masking all around.
This seems to be the top trim that will be offered in the country, as evidenced by the fresh five-spoke alloy wheels, beige interiors and the rear fog-lamps which are visible in the spy-shots. The front also seems to feature black (almost Renault-esque) projector headlamps and a sporty bumper with a three-piece air-dam.
The sides seem to carry clean lines with a tipped forward stance and a rising beltline. The XL-sized wing mirrors are likely to carry integrated turn indicators as well. Interestingly, they have been placed on the doors instead of near the base of the A-Pillar – a move that could aid driver visibility.
Even though other reports state otherwise, we still maintain our earlier presumption that this MPV could be pinned by a monocoque chassis which could help make the ride more comfortable as compared to the ladder-frame based Crysta. The U321 is also likely to be offered in a 7-seater variant and with large spacious interiors to better compete with rivalling MPVs.
The new Mahindra is likely to borrow its engine options from the XUV. This means that it would get a 2.2-litre mHawk diesel engine and a 1.99-litre motor for markets like Delhi. Even though at present these motors put out around 140 BHP of peak power, an update is expected to bump that number up to 170 BHP.
Mahindra is developing this model in close conjunction with their team in their North America Technical Centre at Troy, USA. The company may be targeting a mid-October launch to help it cash in on the festive season. Expect prices to start from about INR 15 Lakhs when it goes on sale in the country.
Spy image courtesy: AutoX