Mahindra & Mahindra, ousted from selling its XUV500 and Scorpio besides the rest of its diesel range that displaces more than 2-litre in capacity, might have come up with an ingenious solution. According to our sources, Mahindra has already reworked the 2.2-litre mHawk engine to displace less than 2000cc, and it should begin selling the XUV500 powered by this new iteration, in Delhi, this month itself. We could not get an official confirmation on this from Mahindra, however.
The mHawk engine powering the Mahindra XUV500 currently displaces 2179cc with a bore and stroke layout of 85mm x 96mm. To bring this engine capacity under 2000cc, the quick solution for Mahindra would be to sleeve the engine and reduce the bore to 81mm or lower. This would mean new pistons and con-rods but given the material and manufacturing of these components is already proven (and all it would need is new dimensions), the amount of testing required to validate this setup wouldn’t be long or arduous either. This might affect the output of the engine, but only minutely, and something that can be overcome by an ECU remap.
The question now is why would Mahindra want to rush into a solution instead of waiting it out like everybody else till the 31st of March when the ruling comes to an end? Two reasons.
One: There’s no guarantee that the ruling would not be extended. Plus, it might be introduced in other big cities as well. Two: and this is the crucial one. Launching the sub 2-litre XUV now would mean Mahindra would not only cater to the demand for the XUV500 alone but will also attract the pent up demand for other over 2-litre diesel engine vehicles currently banned from selling in Delhi.
So, the sub 2-litre XUV500 will be able to rake in the numbers at least till 31st of March even from more expensive SUVs like the Fortuner and the Pajero Sport. Plus, the Innova clientele is there for grabs as well. And this is a fairly large number. After all, for someone looking for something upmarket with seven seats to ferry the family around, the XUV makes a good bet. Moreover, attracting buyers from the above-mentioned vehicle pool would also mean that Mahindra would be able to ship out more of the W10 top trims variants. And enjoy higher margins in the bargain.