Mahindra has been working on its upcoming all-new MPV codenamed U321 and the offering is expected to make an appearance at the end of this fiscal. With the launch still sometime away, the U321 was spotted testing in Nashik, Maharashtra, providing a clear glimpse of the MPV’s proportions. Set to replace the aging Mahinda Xylo in the automaker’s line-up, the U321 will also take on the segment leading Toyota Innova Crysta as well as the Renault Lodgy segment.
The U321 will be Mahindra’s next all-new offering and is expected to be developed from grounds up. The overall proportions are similar to a minivan on the MPV and is expected to be liberal 7-seater model when it goes on sale. The spy shots also showcase Mahindra’s trademark grille making an appearance, albeit the U-shaped unit is similar to the Imperio pick-up.
The U321 is being designed by the company’s team at the Mahindra North American Technology Center (MNATC) in Troy, Michigan, which would explain the minivan-like proportions, while the testing and development is happening at the Mahindra Research Valley in Chennai.. The car sits tall, and is likely to be a premium peoples carrier complete with fancy bells and whistles like a touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto, auto climate control, start-stop function and much more.
The new Mahindra U321 will be a built on a monocoque platform with the engine powering the front wheels. Speaking of which, reports suggest that a 1.6-litre diesel engine is likely to power the MPV, while a petrol engine could also make it later in the timeline for domestic and export markets. The 1.5-litre diesel engine currently seen on the TUV300 could also be an option. In addition, expect to see better handling capabilities from the MPV, as opposed to that found on the Xylo.
Mahindra has already revealed that the U321 will be produced at the company’s manufacturing facility in Nashik, while the project has seen an investment of ₹ 1500 crore in the manufacturing and development.
The MPV segment is largely ruled by the Toyota Innova Crysta and Maruti Suzuki Ertiga in the Indian market, and the Mahindra U321 is likely to carve a niche somewhere in the middle. While it will be too early to talk about prices, it is likely that the model will start around ₹ 9 lakh (ex-showroom) mark, while top trims could be around ₹ 12-13 lakh. A debut at the 2018 Auto Expo could be in the pipeline for the MPV, so expect to see more of these spy images emerging in the following months.