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"That's our aspiration": Why Mahindra's all-new cut-price ute has its sights on the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux

Mahindra says Australia's mainstream ute players are its new target.

Mahindra has made no bones about just where it expects its new ute to sit in the Australian dual-cab line-up, saying it wants to go after mainstream players like the Toyota HiLux, Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Navara and Ford Ranger.

Speaking to CarsGuide at the launch of the Ford Everest-rivalling Mahindra Scorpio, the brand's Vice President of International Operations, Joydeep Moitra told CarsGuide that Australia's mainstream ute players were its new target.

Asked whether the new ute, which will replace the ageing and entirely agricultural Pik-Up, will finally take the fight to mainstream models like the HiLux, Ranger, Navara and Triton, Mahindra's Vice President of International Operations, Joydeep Moitra, told CarsGuide that a new diesel engine and a new platform would help level the playing field.

"I wouldn't want to give away the entire product plan right now, but yes. The aspiration is to be a mainstream SUV and ute player in Australia, so therefore definitely we are working in that direction," he said.

"Right now we will focus on the regular dual-cab segment, the chassis-based SUV segment, and the crossover segment. These three have large market sizes in Australia – just the three of these are 500,000 sales in Australia. That's sizeable.

"There's headroom in these three categories for us. All-new engine, all-new platform, all-new branding. Everything is new."

Mahindra has just given us our best look yet at just what to expect, unveiling the Global Pik Up concept at a Mahindra event known as Futurescape.

As expected, the production version set to be based on the ladder-frame Scorpio SUV, and will feature much of the model's powertrain and equipment highlights.

That model arrives with an all-alloy 2.2-litre turbo-diesel, making 129kW and 400Nm. It channels that power through a six-speed, Aisin-sourced automatic, and then sends it on to the rear wheels. 4WD is a part-time affair, and you can shift between 2WD and 4WD high-range on the fly.

There's also a proper locking rear diff and some more high-tech terrain modes which make the Mahindra more than solid off road, too.

But while the ute will share that same engine and platform, Mahindra hints that more power can be unlocked, conceding that 450Nm is about the pass mark for a diesel dual-cab in Australia.

According to the brand, it could be "one of the market's most versatile and capable pick-ups", with an expected on-sale date in Australia prior to 2027.

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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