Browse over 9,000 car reviews

No hybrid Mahindras! Indian giant bets big on skipping to electric with new BE sub-brand, so don't expect an Indian Toyota RAV4 rival

Mahindra will skip straight from combustion powertrains to battery electrics, forgoing hybrids.

Mahindra has been open about its future plans Down Under, but one thing notably missing is any plan to introduce hybrid models.

The XUV700 seven-seat mid-size SUV is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine in Australia, but is also available with a 2.2-litre diesel engine overseas, and the same can be said for the Scorpio off-road SUV.

Mahindra even confirmed that its upcoming new-generation dual-cab ute will launch only with a diesel powertrain initially, even though that model is not set to arrive for several years.

When queried on this lack of hybrid options in the brand’s product pipeline, Mahindra’s Head of Global Automotive, Veejay Nakra, explained that hybrids were not a part of Mahindra’s strategy going forward.

“This is a great debate which keeps happening [in India]. From an industrial perspective, from a government perspective. We think it is apparent that battery electrics will be a focus going forward.” he said.

“Will there be [Indian] hybrids? Yes, of course there will be, but our focus [at Mahindra] is only on ICE and fully electric.”

The BE brand is expected to launch in Australia around 2025.

Mahindra has confirmed in the past that its SUV range will go electric with the XUV.e8 expected to be essentially a fully electric equivalent to the XUV700, but Nakra pointed to the brand’s announcement of a new ‘BE’ (Born Electric) sub-brand which will be exclusively for EVs.

As previously reported, the BE brand utilises a new platform dubbed INGLO which is derived from Volkswagen Group’s MEB architecture, and will be offered with 60kWh or 80kWh battery units. Charging is said to be achieved in less than 30 minutes thanks to 175kW DC charging capability.

To that end, BE vehicles will use motors and battery cells from Volkswagen, but other components will be of Mahindra design. The platform will be predominantly rear-drive, with up to 170kW of power for two-wheel drive applications, or 250kW in all-wheel drive.

The XUV.e8 expected to be essentially a fully electric equivalent to the XUV700.

The vehicles will be designed at Mahindra’s European design studio in the UK. The scope of the deal with VW allows for roughly a million units a year to be allocated to Mahindra’s electric range.

“BE means ‘be who you want to be’. The design language will be distinct from our SUV range, more futuristic. It will give us a new, youthful buyer, and at a higher price-point than our current range.” Nakra said. He also indicated the BE brand is expected to launch in Australia around 2025 - the same year as the brand's international arrival. 

The range of current concept vehicles show a small SUV (BE 05), a mid-size SUV (BE 07), and a coupe-styled SUV (BE 09).

Mahindra aspires to more than double its footprint outside of India in the next few years, and promises its new-generation products are built to global standards as opposed to Indian standards as they were before.

The brand says it is eyeing success in South Africa, New Zealand, Nepal, and Australia initially, with plans to significantly expand its dealer footprint to cover all states and metropolitan areas locally.

The brand has even promised a significant local design and testing program, particularly for the upcoming Scorpio dual-cab ute, which it says will have “Australian DNA” and be defined by the needs of our market.

Tom White
Senior Journalist
Despite studying ancient history and law at university, it makes sense Tom ended up writing about cars, as he spent the majority of his waking hours finding ways to drive...
About Author