Mahindra plans to introduce five electric SUVs using components from the Volkswagen Group’s MEB architecture.
They’ll slot into two new sub-brands: XUV.e, which features a copper-hued version of Mahindra’s existing Twin Peaks badge and promises to “build upon the Mahindra legacy”; and BE, which will offer vehicles with more “audacious” styling.
Mahindra didn’t confirm its global plans for the new EV range, but a spokesperson said the range is “designed with the aspiration of a Global Product built on a Global VW platform”.
First to arrive will be the XUV.e8, set for launch in December 2024.
It measures 4740mm long, 1900mm wide and 1760mm tall on a 2762mm wheelbase.
That wheelbase is just 3mm shorter than that of the MEB-based Volkswagen ID.4, though overall it’s 156mm longer and closer to a Hyundai Santa Fe (4785mm) overall. It’s also exactly as wide as the Hyundai.
Its boxy styling suggests it could offer a third row of seating like Mahindra’s own XUV700, not to mention the China-market, MEB-based Volkswagen ID.6. Indeed, its rear end styling is extremely similar to that of the XUV700, which is smaller overall.
The XUV.e8’s coupe SUV counterpart, the XUV.e9, will follow in April 2025. It features a panoramic glass roof and measures 4790mm long, 1905mm wide and 1690mm tall on a 2775mm wheelbase.
The first of the BE-badged models will be the BE.05, set for launch in October 2025, and positioned as a more overtly sporty SUV.
It shares its 2775mm wheelbase with the XUV.e9 and measures 1900mm wide and 1635mm tall.
The BE.07 is a more family-oriented SUV on the same wheelbase, which features a more upright silhouette.
It measures 4565mm long – 10mm shorter than a Mazda CX-5 – and 1900mm wide and 1660mm tall on the same wheelbase.
Finally, there’s the BE.09, a “head-turning SUV grand tourer”. It’s the only EV for which Mahindra hasn’t announced dimensions or launch timing.
Mahindra will use electric motors, battery system components and battery cells from the Volkswagen Group’s MEB architecture, which underpins models like the Volkswagen ID.4 and Cupra Born.
The two companies will negotiate a final supply agreement by year’s end, and the tie-up will result in a claimed “volume of more than one million units over lifetime”.
All five vehicles ride a new modular platform called Inglo, which will use lithium iron phosphate batteries with a capacity of between 60-80kWh.
Mahindra says it will offer two different cell architectures: blade and prismatic. The platform supports fast-charging at up to 175kW and offer Vehicle to Load (V2L) functionality.
Inglo-based models will offer either 170kW-210kW rear-wheel drive or 250kW-290kW all-wheel drive electric powertrains, with the latter offering 0-100km/h times of between five and six seconds – though no range figures have been quoted.
Mahindra also touts the presence of semi-active suspension that’ll ensure ride comfort – important on Indian roads that are often worse than ours – and promises the vehicles will offer an “immersive sporty drive experience”.
The company also says its Inglo-based models will also achieve a five-star Global N-CAP rating.
Mahindra says the SUVs will offer embedded 5G network capability and support over-the-air updates.
The SUVs will also be future-proofed to offer up to Level 2+ autonomous driving technology.
Some models, such as the BE.07, will offer expansive screens spanning from one side of the dash to the other that incorporate a digital instrument cluster and centre and passenger displays.
Mahindra says it’ll also offer an augmented reality head-up display, while images appear to depict digital camera mirrors.
The introduction of five new vehicle lines is a significant expansion for the Mahindra brand, and represents an ambitious step further into the EV market.
Mahindra’s EV range currently consists only of a range of three-wheelers, plus the small E-Verito sedan which is powered by a tiny 31kW/91Nm electric motor.
The company sells a wide range of commercial vehicles, ranging from mini-trucks and vans all the way up to buses and tractor trailers.
While the Indian brand is perhaps best known in Australia for its rugged Pik-Up, it’s been growing its SUV lineup. It revealed its Scorpio-N body-on-frame SUV this year, which is set to come here in 2023 along with the XUV500-replacing XUV700.
Those are but a couple of Mahindra’s myriad SUV offerings – 10 in total – which also include: the Jeep Wrangler-inspired Thar it was blocked from selling here due to legal action from Jeep; the throwback Bolero; and the Marazzo and KUV100 NXT which are essentially just a people mover and a light hatch, respectively.
The brand’s current flagship SUV is the Alturas G4, a rebadged SsangYong Rexton that Mahindra got the rights to when it acquired SsangYong. Both it and the Tivoli-based XUV300 may not be long for this world given Mahindra’s sale of the Korean automaker.