Mahindra previews 5 new electric SUVs from the XUV and BE brands using VW Group technology
Indian brand Mahindra appears to be gearing up for the electric age as it announced five new SUV prototypes that preview future production models for the XUV and BE sub-brands. The concepts are based on Mahindra’s new EV skateboard platform called Inglo, which uses components from VW Group’s MEB architecture.
The concepts introduce us to Mahindra’s new design language called “heartcore”. The SUVs are divided into two different brands: the 05, 07 and 09 carry the BE badge, while the E08 and E09 have the familiar XUV badge.
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While there are some shared design cues, including skinny LED lighting signatures and muscular bodywork with angular surfaces, the BE-branded SUVs look more futuristic than the XUVs, which are presumably closer to production status. We should note that all concepts were only shown in the form of digital renderings, which means we’ll have to wait for real-life prototypes.
As for the interior, we can see the cabin of the BE 05 and 07, as well as the XUV E09. The BE 05 has a digital cockpit with two screens on a single panel and ambient lighting that surrounds the driver. The BE 07 has a full-width screen on the dash along with digital mirrors. Finally, the XUV E09 brings a more production-ready three-screen design with larger bezels and a more conventional layout for the center console. Mahindra also talks about an augmented reality head-up display, 5G connectivity and support for over-the-air updates, though it’s not clear if all models will get those features.
New modular architecture with VW Tech
Inglo’s modular architecture will use components from the VW Group’s tried and tested MEB platform following a recently announced agreement between the two companies. The shared components will be “the electric powertrain, battery system, and battery cells.”
The Inglo architecture will be compatible with 60-80 kWh battery packs, similar to those used by VW Group electric SUVs. Mahindra says that the 175 kW fast-charging capability will allow the battery to reach 80 percent charge in less than 30 minutes. As for the all-electric powertrain, the platform comes in rear-wheel drive form with a single electric motor producing 228 hp (170 kW/231 PS), or in all-wheel drive form with dual electric motors producing combined power. 335 hp (250 kW / 340 hp). Interestingly, those figures are higher than current MEB-based EV offerings from Audi, VW and Skoda. The most powerful configuration will allow Mahindra electric vehicles to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in less than 6 seconds.
Other features highlighted in the presentation include a semi-active suspension, brake-by-wire technology, level 2+ range, and an expected 5-star safety rating in Global NCAP tests. Mahindra mentioned that a total of 1 million units will be produced based on these fundamentals, although the final supply agreement with the VW Group will be finalized by the end of the year.
Production versions of the XUV E08/E09 and BE 05/07 will be launched between 2024 and 2026. The first model will arrive in late 2024, starting from the Indian market. In conjunction with the concept unveiling, the company launched its new design studio in Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK, called Mahindra Advanced Design Europe (MADE), which will operate alongside the existing design studio in Mumbai, India.