Mahindra and Ford have formed a strategic alliance under which Ford plans to handover its operations in India to Mahindra including its Sanand and Chennai manufacturing facilities. Under the alliance, Mahindra and Ford will also make new SUVs that will be sold in the Indian market. Last year, it was also speculated that Ford will be developing a Mahindra Marazzo based MPV for the Indian market.
While the Ford MPV is expected to use the same underpinnings, in the engine department Ford is likely to use a more powerful 2.2-litre mHawk series engine from its Indian partner instead of the current 1.5-litre diesel engine that powers the Marazzo MPV. But this will not be the only change. The brand is also likely to completely rework the exterior as well as the interiors to match it to the Ford family design and the MPV is expected not to be just another work of badge engineering.
On the outside, the Ford MPV is likely to get design feature and equipment similar to the Ford Galaxy and on the inside, the brand could give the MPV a thorough revamp. The new MPV is also expected to come with the Ford Sync infotainment system and other bits and pieces from the American brand. The new MPV is also expected to come with multiple seating configurations.
In terms of the engine, it is being speculated that the 2.2 mHawk that recently featured on the Mahindra Thar is likely to be used on the MPV. The engine on the Thar belts out 130 Bhp of power and 300 Nm of torque and comes matched to a 6-speed gearbox as well as the option of a 6-speed automatic unit. The 1.5-litre diesel engine currently employed on the Marazzo produces 121 Bhp of power and 300 Nm of torque paired to a 6-speed manual transmission.
In terms of competition, the premium exterior features, interior equipment and larger displacement powertrain are likely to help Ford pin the new MPV against the Toyota Innova Crysta in the Indian market. Apart from the MPV the Ford Mahindra joint venture will also see a number of other SUV which include a C-SUV with the codename ‘CX757’, B-SUV codenamed ‘BX745’ and a compact SUV codenamed ‘BX744’ which could be the next-generation EcoSport.