There is news of Mahindra developing new petrol engines in collaboration with their Korean partners SsangYong. The new petrol engine range will have as many as three motors, ranging from 1.2 to 1.6-litre in terms of displacement. The three cylinder 1.2-litre engine developed out of this program will be used in the upcoming compact SUV codenamed S102. Mahindra and Ssagyong have been working together on the S102, which will go up against rivals like the Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster. While the product will get the Mahindra badging in India, the car will be sold elsewhere as a Ssangyong.
To keep costs low, common parts will be used across this new engine range, which is being developed for Euro VI application and beyond. While the engine development is co-operation between Mahindra and its Korean affiliate, it’s the parent company that will take the lead in this ambitious programme. Hence, the bulk of development will be carried out at Mahindra Research Valley (MRV), the company’s state-of-the-art R&D facility outside Chennai. Engine specialists AVL of Austria are believed to be consultants for this project. Unlike Mahindra’s earlier petrol engines which were derived from diesel engines, the new petrol engine family has been developed from scratch.
It is no secret that taking over Ssangyong has turned out to be a profitable deal for Mahindra. While the Korean manufacturer has been turning out profits since it got the financial backing, it has also been assisting the Indian car maker in developing platforms and other technologies. The Indian manufacturer which commands almost a 40-45 % share in the SUV segment has taken the decision to gamble with the petrol-option after estimating a slowdown in Diesel vehicle demand. With difference in prices of both fuels lowering, Diesel powered vehicles are being shunned by present buyers in favour of petrol vehicles. It is only those who cover some serious annual kilometers who are opting for the former. Hence it makes sense on Mahindra’s part to have powerful alternative to their current powertrain which, as on date, run only on diesel.
Here is where the tie-up with the Koreans proves to be beneficiary, The Ssangyong brand was launched in India to bolster Mahindra’s image as a premium car maker rather than just drive up its volumes. Jointly developing products helps in sharing the development costs as well as widens the scope of technological development and hence consolidate the pole position in the SUV segment, a position that Mahindra is very familiar with.
Share your thoughts about Mahindra taking the “Petrol route” in the comments section below.