Mahindra & Mahindra and its Korean partner SsangYong are jointly developing a new range of petrol engines for future Mahindra and SsangYong products.
M&M has only diesel powertrains in its model line-up and although for now the market here is skewed in this direction, in case of a trend reversal or balancing out, this policy would leave the company vulnerable to any slowdown in diesel engine demand. Hence, India’s leading UV maker has embarked on an ambitious engine programme to develop a completely new engine family, which will include three and four cylinder engines with varying capacities.
Pawan Goenka, executive director, Mahindra & Mahindra, confirmed his company’s strategy in an exclusive interview to Autocar India.
“The writing is on the wall, we cannot remain a diesel-only manufacturer. That won’t work, not just in India but not even for the global aspirations that we have. In fact, I do see some slowdown in diesel demand and therefore we have to have strong petrol engine options available.”
Goenka also confirmed that the new petrol engine family would power a wide range of SUVs in India. “We are currently working on two engines, a three and a four cylinder, coming out of the same platform. These would be mainstream engines for our petrol driven UV range and would power vehicles much smaller than what we have today.”
Unlike Mahindra’s earlier petrol engines which were derived from diesel engines, the new petrol engine family has been developed from a clean sheet of paper. “Our earlier petrol engines had some compromises because they were based on a diesel engine but our new petrol engines will be an independent, grounds up development and therefore it will be as good as any other petrol engine in the market at that time” says Goenka.
No date has been given for the launch of M&M’s new engine family but the first motor, a 1.2 litre three-cylinder petrol engine is likely to first power the S101 Compact SUV from Mahindra Motors but not before 2016.