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Mahindra Teases 200km/h Prototype Electric SUVs

Mahindra recently released a brief video showcasing a trio of fully electric SUVs undergoing high-speed testing on the oval track at its proving grounds in Chennai, India. These electric SUVs reached a top speed of 200km/h during the testing.

It’s worth noting that while these prototypes achieved a top speed of 200km/h during testing, production models of electric vehicles (EVs) typically have electronically limited top speeds to prioritise efficiency and extend range. Manufacturers often strike a balance between performance and range when setting these limits.

The electric SUV models from Mahindra, known as the XUV.e8, XUV.e9, and BE.05, were initially previewed in concept form a year ago, introducing Mahindra’s new styling language referred to as “heartcore.” In recent sightings of camouflaged prototypes, these models bear a resemblance to the original concept renderings, although there have been some adjustments for production.

Some of the notable changes for production include:

  • Smaller-Diameter Wheels: The production models feature smaller-diameter wheels compared to the concept versions.
  • Thicker Pillars: The pillars of the production models appear to be thicker than those in the concept designs.
  • Enlarged LED Lighting Units: The LED lighting units on the production models appear to be larger than those on the concept versions.

In terms of overall design, the XUV.e9 and BE.05 maintain the coupe-SUV silhouette with sloping rooflines seen in the concept versions, giving them a sporty and modern appearance. In contrast, the XUV.e8 follows a more traditional SUV shape with an upright tail, catering to those who prefer a classic SUV design.

The latest teaser video for Mahindra’s upcoming electric SUV models focuses on the digital instrument cluster. The video showcases the instrument cluster displaying a 200km/h speed in a “Sport” driving mode. This suggests a performance-oriented driving mode for the upcoming electric SUVs.

Based on the concept models from last year, the production versions of these electric SUVs are expected to feature advanced interior technology. Here are some of the anticipated interior features:

  1. Multiple Screens: The BE.05 is expected to come with two screens, while the XUV.e9 could feature a trio of displays. These screens are likely to serve various functions, including infotainment, navigation, and vehicle settings.
  2. Semi-Active Suspension: Mahindra has promised a semi-active suspension system, which can enhance ride comfort and handling by adjusting damping characteristics in real-time based on road conditions and driving dynamics.
  3. Head-Up Display with Augmented Reality: The inclusion of a head-up display with augmented reality could provide drivers with important information in their line of sight, enhancing safety and convenience.
  4. Over-the-Air (OTA) Compatibility: OTA updates allow for remote software updates, ensuring that the vehicles remain up-to-date with the latest features and improvements.
  5. 5G Connectivity: 5G connectivity is expected to provide fast and reliable internet access, enabling advanced infotainment, navigation, and connectivity features.
  6. Level 2+ Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS): The production models are likely to come equipped with Level 2+ ADAS, which may include features such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automated emergency braking.

While Mahindra has highlighted these features, it remains to be seen which ones will come as standard in the production models and which might be offered as optional upgrades. As electric vehicles continue to gain popularity, automakers are incorporating advanced technology to enhance the driving experience and meet the demands of tech-savvy consumers.

Mahindra’s upcoming electric SUVs, known as the XUV.e8, XUV.e9, and BE.05, are set to make a significant impact in the electric vehicle market. These SUVs are built on Mahindra’s new EV-dedicated modular platform called Inglo, which is designed to offer flexibility and adaptability for electric powertrains.

The powertrains for these electric SUVs will feature both single and dual electric motors for a range of performance options. Mahindra has established strategic partnerships in the EV space to source these motors. The front-mounted electric motor, producing 107hp, is sourced from Volkswagen. The rear-mounted electric motors come in two variants, one producing 228hp , and the more powerful version delivers 282hp. These rear motors are sourced from Valeo and Volkswagen.

Mahindra’s decision to source the battery packs from Chinese company BYD, instead of the originally planned Volkswagen, may be due to supply chain considerations or strategic adjustments. This underscores the complexity and evolving nature of the electric vehicle industry, where automakers make strategic decisions based on factors like supply availability and cost-effectiveness.

The electric SUV lineup is set to roll out in a phased manner, with each model making its debut at different intervals. The XUV.e8 is slated to be the first in line, expected to make its debut in December 2024. It will be followed by the XUV.e9 in April 2025, and then the BE.05 in October 2025. Further down the line, there’s a BE.07 anticipated to arrive in April 2026, and an additional model, the BE.09, which is yet to receive a specific debut date.

During the recent unveiling of the new Mahindra Scorpio N Pickup Truck, there were speculations that Mahindra might re-enter the Malaysian market. This is due to the fact that Mahindra is actively considering the potential of launching the newly revealed Global Pik Up concept in regions, including the ASEAN area.

If this were to happen, Mahindra might just introduce these electric SUVs into our Malaysian market.

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