India's leading SUV manufacturer, Mahindra & Mahindra, has previewed five new electric SUVs it plans to start building from 2024 using EV components from Volkswagen Group's MEB platform.
Presented under two new EV brands, XUV and BE, the electric SUVs are based on the company's new INGLO (an acronym combining "India" and "global") modular EV platform that uses VW MEB components. For now, it is unclear which specific components are sourced from the MEB architecture and how similar INGLO and MEB are.
Created specifically for Mahindra's future EV portfolio, the XUV and BE brands will offer five models at first: the XUV.e8 and XUV.e9, and BE.05, BE.07 and BE.09. The first four of these are to be launched between 2024 and 2026.
Designed in the UK on India-developed INGLO platform
From a styling perspective, these SUVs adopt Mahindra's new "Heartcore" design philosophy, which the automaker describes as "a blend of unmissable presence, inner strength and attitude." They are all designed by the Mahindra Advanced Design Europe studio in Banbury, Oxfordshire.
They all feature muscular yet angular surfaces, with designers going for monolithic exterior proportions and hi-tech interiors featuring generous displays that cover the entire width of the dashboard in the case of both XUV vehicles and the BE.07. Furthermore, each brand displays its own front design identity that's shared by all models.
While you may or may not be a fan of the way the XUV and BE electric vehicles look, the INGLO platform making them possible arguably presents more interest. We learn from the press release that the India-developed platform offers class-leading safety standards, exhilarating performance, excellent range and efficiency, exemplary driving dynamics, versatility and intelligent HMI.
Set to underpin all the Mahindra EVs going forward, INGLO is also said to deliver a multi-sensorial driving experience with a futuristic, augmented reality-enabled heads-up display, edge-to-edge screen, 5G network capability and over-the-air updates (SOTA+FOTA).
Gallery: Mahindra previews five electric SUVs under new XUV and BE brands
LFP cell-to-pack batteries with 60-80 kWh capacity
Using LFP chemistry batteries, INGLO will enable Mahindra EVs to follow a common battery pack design with lean modules and standardized cell-to-pack technology using two different cutting-edge cell architectures—Blade and Prismatic.
Battery capacity will range from 60 kWh to 80 kWh, while DC fast-charging will reach a rate of up to 175 kW, leading to a charging time to 80 percent SoC in under 30 minutes. No range estimates have been announced, although Mahindra promises "class-leading range" and "best-in-class recuperation potential" enabled by the intelligent electronic brake system.
The EV will also feature an intelligent and efficient Battery Management System delivering improved range, longevity and safety. The BMS will offer a high number of charge-discharge cycles coupled with a long lifespan to help reduce waste. In addition, Mahindra says the INGLO platform offers significant reduction in underbody weight, leading to one of the lightest skateboards on the market.
RWD and AWD models with up to 389 HP, 0-62 mph in 5 seconds
When it comes to performance, a compact all-in-one drive unit with integrated motor-inverter-transmission will enable both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations. The drive units will offer outputs of 170-210 kilowatts (228-281 horsepower) in RWD applications and 250-290 kilowatts (335-389 horsepower) in AWD applications. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) will take between 5 and 6 seconds.
Other available features worth mentioning are Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) functionality, a semi-active suspension system enabling "an immersive sporty drive experience," dual-pinion high-power steering system, brake-by-wire tech allowing multiple brake modes for pedal feel and recuperation, and more. And yes, they will all have frunks.
The first of the electric SUVs to reach production will be the XUV.e8 in December 2024, followed by the XUV.e9 in April 2025, BE.05 in October 2025, BE.07 in October 2026 and BE.09 later on. By 2027, Mahindra expects a quarter of the SUVs it sells will be electric. While India will be a priority market for the XUV and BE EVs, Mahindra execs said the company aims to export the cars to Europe and the UK if market conditions are right.
Check out the unveiling video at the top of this page and the one below for more details on each model.