Ford C-SUV will have plenty in common with the next generation Mahindra XUV500 including the powertrain but it won’t be a mere badge engineered model
Ford India has the EcoSport as its popular model in the domestic market while the Endeavour is also responsible for garnering good sales numbers over the years. However, its volume range comprising of Figo, Freestyle and Aspire is not performing well. The American manufacturer has had difficult times in the global market and thus job cuts, shutting down of plants and reduced expenditure were prevalent.
In India, Ford has joined hands with Mahindra to create a joint venture valued at USD 275 million. Ford has transferred its local operations to the JV including working personnel and manufacturing facilities in Chennai and Sanand. It has retained engine facility in Sanand, besides Ford Credit, Ford Smart Mobility and Global Business Services.
Mahindra & Mahindra will be introducing the second generation XUV500 in early 2021 and it will likely be based on a new monocoque construction. The same platform will give rise to the Ford C-SUV, which is expected to arrive later next year or in 2022. The India-specific premium SUV has been codenamed Ford W605 and with the national health crisis, the products coming out of the JV could be postponed to 2022.
While both the SUVs will be benefitted from component sharing and mechanical similarities to reduce production costs, the Ford C-SUV will have a distinctive character and an exterior replicating design language from its global range. It could also feature good off-roading characteristics with dedicated drive modes.
As for the performance, the 2.0-litre mStallion T-GDi turbo four-cylinder petrol engine revealed at the 2020 Auto Expo will be used. It develops 190 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 380 Nm of torque between 1,750 and 4,000 rpm. A 2.0-litre turbocharged BSVI diesel unit is also expected to be on the cards. Both manual and automatic transmissions should help in having an expansive range of offering for customers.
As the design, the Ford C-SUV could significantly differ from the next-gen Mahindra XUV500 inside the cabin as well despite having similar underpinnings. It will likely feature latest SYNC connectivity, wireless charging, a large touchscreen infotainment system, automatic climate control, HUD, digital instrumentation and so on.