Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is in the advanced stages of an ambitious new engine programme that will power future Mahindra and Ssangyong products. This family of the all-new engines will be based on a common platform, and will spawn a range of diesel and petrol motors of varying capacities and configurations.
Pawan Goenka, President of M&M’s auto business confirmed the news exclusively to Autocar India, while speaking on the ‘CEO on the Drive’ show on Bloomberg TV. "Let me first say that I am very happy by the way our engines are going. We have developed a new family of engines, which will have a 1.2-litre and a 1.6-litre diesel and petrol, and a 1.5-litre diesel. We also have the option of doing a 1.5-litre petrol and a 1.0-litre petrol. So, seven possible engines coming out of a platform which is brand new and developed grounds up," Goenka told Autocar.
This new engine family will be shared between M&M and its Korean subsidiary Ssangyong across a wide range of products. "Some of the engines are more SsangYong centric, while some are more Mahindra centric, but they will be shared with both Mahindra and SsangYong as per the requirements," says Goenka.
This project, in which M&M is understood to have invested around Rs 700 crore, will first spawn a four- cylinder 1.6-litre, four-cylinder petrol and diesel engine in early 2015, to power the Ssangyong X100 compact SUV. However, the X100, which is aimed at international markets won’t be sold in India. "What you will see is a 1.2 petrol and diesel in one of the Indian launches next year," Goenka confirms.
The new 1.2-litre engine is essentially a three-cylnder version of the X100’s 1.6-litre motor that has been downsized to under 1200cc to suit the lower excise duty slab in India for cars under four metres. The 1.2-litre petrol, which is expected to develop around 80bhp in naturally aspirated form, will power the S102 compact SUV that is due for launch in 2015. The S102 won’t get the 1.5-litre diesel at launch because, according to Goenka, "You will see the new 1.5-litre diesel perhaps in 2017 or late 2016 in a future Mahindra product"
M&M is betting big on petrol engine technology, which is clearly one of the company’s biggest weaknesses. Goenka is aware that future seems clearly in favour of petrol power and says M&M is gearing up to be at the cutting edge. "The current gasolines (petrol) that will come out will not be direct injection, but we know that’s the direction and we have already started work on it because the future in India will be gasoline, direct-injection with turbocharging"
However, M&M has a lot of catching up to do. The diesel driven SUV maker has never developed a grounds-up petrol engine before, and the company’s last petrol-driven product, the Renault powered Scorpio was phased out quite a few years ago.