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VW platform to underpin new Mahindra EVs

Mahindra will launch five MEB-based all-electric SUVs from 2024, Oz sales likely

18 Aug 2022

MAHINDRA has unveiled five new electric SUVs based on Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform as the Indian manufacturer seeks to expedite its move toward battery-powered cars – and the range is tipped to make it into Australian showrooms.


Previewed as part of an online presentation this week, the forthcoming models will be sold under individual brand streams – XUV and BE – the design of each conceptualised at the Mahindra Advanced Design Europe facility in the UK.


Mahindra is the second customer for Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform after Ford, which will begin production of its first MEB-based SUV this year at its Cologne plant in Germany.


The MEB-based Mahindra XUV.e8 is slated to go on sale in India from December 2024 and will be followed shortly after by the XUV.e9.


Mumbai-based Mahindra will then release its BE-branded models progressively from October 2025, the trio named BE.05, BE.07 and BE.09 respectively.


The MEB-sourced platform – which will be reformed under the Inglo name by Mahindra – will offer battery capacity ranging from 60 to 80kWh and offer a fast-charging time of less than 30 minutes to achieve 80 per cent capacity.


Mahindra did not specify the range of any of its five models.


Speaking to GoAuto News this week, Mahindra Automotive Australia marketing manager, James Halliwell, said that with India being a right-hand drive market, Australian sales of the brand’s forthcoming eSUVs are almost guaranteed.


“Some time ago, in fact through the recent COVID-19 period, Mahindra realised that with General Motors pulling out of right-hand drive markets, there was an opportunity for it to push towards markets including Australia, South Africa, the UK, Japan, and so on,” Mr Halliwell explained.


“Australia, along with South Africa, are priority export markets for Mahindra, and the new energy vehicles we have just announced are definitely on the radar. That said, this is quite a forward-looking statement given the arrival time of the models in question and related production schedules are still a couple of years out.”


“Before then, and hopefully within the first half of next year, we’ll see the new Scopio-N and XUV700 arrive in Australia, but that timeframe too is unclear given the popularity of these vehicles in their home market.”


“Mahindra received 25,000 reservations for the XUV700 within one minute of the vehicle being available online, and 100,000 reservations in the first 30 minutes – that demand may see Australia’s launch timeframe set back.”


Despite the potential delay, Mr Halliwell said that Mahindra’s local arm is excited about the news of its first eSUVs for the Australian market and believes the combination of style and performance will foster strong sales for the range Down Under.


“We’re very excited to see the XUVe and BE range released, and personally I think that Pininfarina and the domestic design team have done a terrific job in styling these models. The design will give us an edge, and Volkswagen’s platform will provide the technology, safety and performance needed to get us to market more quickly.”


Volkswagen said that more than one million vehicles will be produced by Ford and Mahindra over the duration of the deal.


“The partnership not only demonstrates that our platform business is highly competitive, but that the MEB is well on track to become one of the leading open platforms for e-mobility,” said Volkswagen board of management member, Thomas Schmall.


Producing a range of new energy vehicles (NEVs) is crucial to Mahindra as it seeks to break the dominance of rival Tata Motors in its home market. By 2027, Mahindra says it expects its NEV range to account for “between 20 and 30 per cent of its total SUV sales”.


The Mahindra BE.05 coupe-SUV, which will arrive in Indian showrooms from October 2025, is being touted as a Sports Electric Vehicle, or SEV.


It boasts aggressive frontal styling with angular C-shaped LED headlights and large air intakes reminiscent of an Italian sportscar. With sharp lines and a prominent air duct on the bonnet, the model is further enhanced by squared-off wheel arches and large diameter alloy wheels, flush-mounted door handles, a prominent shoulder line and pronounced rear haunches with C-shaped LED tail-lights.


Mahindra says the BE.05 SEV will offer a driver-focused cockpit with a high centre console offering the driver and passenger their own individual space. The cabin shows a pair pf large touchscreens for operation of the vehicle’s secondary control, a twin-spoke steering wheel and large gear selector.


The BE.05 measures 4370mm in length, 1900mm in width, 1635mm in height and rides on a 2775mm wheelbase. In its home market, the model will directly compete with the Tata Curvv.


The BE.07, meanwhile, will launch in October 2026 and bring a more traditional SUV silhouette to Mahindra’s electric range. The model retains many of the styling cues of its coupe-SUV sibling, including the C-shaped head- and tail-lights, but with a less angular design suggesting a family-focused intent.


Mahindra says the BE.07 previews a tech-laden yet practical cabin with a full-width digital screen across its dashboard, similar to that of Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX system. There are no physical switches evident in the cabin, which is topped by a full-length panoramic sunroof.


Slightly smaller in size to the newly-launched XUV700, the Mahindra BE.07 measures 4565mm long, 1900mm wide and 1660mm high, and rides on the same 2775mm wheelbase as the BE.05.


Finally, the BE.09 – another coupe-SUV – will sit atop the BE line-up. Mahindra has yet to reveal specifications or measurements of its flagship electric model, but says it will offer just four seats, suggesting a sports-luxury focus for the model.

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