Mahindra open to building smaller engines

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

The Mumbai-based sport utility vehicle major, launched the all-new SUV with engines, which are nearly half in size compared to other regular engines in its portfolio.

The KUV1OO is powered by 1.2 litre petrol and diesel engines whereas its other engines - 2.2 and 2.5 litre - both of which are diesel, power the Scorpio, 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".

Targeted for being gas guzzlers and major pollutants, big SUVs have repeatedly found themselves under the scanner of policy makers and penalised for the same.

Big SUVs like the Scorpio attract the highest excise duty slab of 30% even as sales of all diesel vehicles with engines having more than 2000cc are banned for sales in Delhi-NCR for the time being.

All manufacturer (mass producer as well as luxury manufacturers) are moving to sub-2 litre engines globally in order to make vehicles lighter and less polluting.

Manufacturers in India where 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 can spin off several different formats of engines as per requirement.

Presently of the six new petrol and diesel engines M&M is yet to launch 2-3 engines in the market. The company developed these engines with assistance from it's 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 the high power. With no competition from anyone in that price of sub-Rs 7 lakh the KUV100 competes with established hatchbacks like Maruti Swift and Hyundai Grand i10.