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Ford Mustang launching in India on January 28

Mahindra & Mahindra, the country's largest utility vehicle manufacturer, is open to building engines smaller than the one in the KUV1OO, which it launched last week. 

The Mumbai-based automaker launched the KUV100 with an engine that is nearly half of the standard engines in its portfolio. The KUV1OO is powered by 1.2 litre petrol and diesel engines whereas M&M’s other engines – 2.2 and 2.5 litre diesel ones – power the Scorpio, the XUV500 and Bolero. 

When asked if the engines seen on the KUV1OO will be the smallest  in M&M's line up Pawan Goenka, executive director, Mahindra & Mahindra said, “Never say never. This is the smallest engine we have presently but will it remain the smallest or not we will see”. 

Criticised for being gas guzzlers and major pollutants, large SUVs have repeatedly found themselves under the scanner of policymakers and penalised. 

SUVs like the Scorpio attract the highest excise duty slab of 30% even as sales of all diesel vehicles with engines having more than 2000 cubic capacity have been banned in Delhi-NCR through the end of March 2016.

As a result of the criticism faced by them, automakers across the spectrum – from mass producer to luxury carmakers – are moving to sub-2 litre engines globally in order to make vehicles lighter and less polluting.

Manufacturers in India, where the market is skewed towards compact hatchbacks, typically use a sub-1.2 litre petrol engine or a sub-1.5 litre diesel engine. 

At M&M, the company has built a new platform of engine which have the capability to spin off different formats of engines. 

M&M is yet to launch 2-3 of the six new petrol and diesel engines it has. The company developed these engines with assistance from its Korean subsidiary Ssangyong Motors Company.

While the KUV100 has the smallest diesel engine for a passenger vehicle within the M&M portfolio, it uses a turbocharger to generate higher power. With no competition from anyone in the price range of sub-Rs 7 lakh, the KUV100 competes with established hatchbacks like Maruti Swift and Hyundai Grand i10.