Back in 2019, Ford & Mahindra formed a joint venture (JV), wherein Mahindra owns 51% of stacks and it will run Ford’s operations in India. A total of 7 new products would be launched under this JV. Recently, an image of a mysterious Ford SUV has been leaked online, which is claimed to be the first product under this JV. It could be a mid-size SUV and is likely to be Ford’s version of the next-generation Mahindra XUV500.
The spy image only reveals the frameless hexagonal front grille of the car, finished in glossy black and is flanked by three LED DRLs strips. We can also notice the vertically stacked headlamps units, which are placed lower on the bumper & are likely to be LED units. The 'X' shaped bumper looks muscular and features a wide air dam.
Though the complete design of the Ford SUV is not visible, we are assured that it will feature an utterly distinct styling compared to the 2021 Mahindra XUV500 so that both SUVs can have their own individual identity. The American maker could also tweak the suspension set-up to have Ford-like driving dynamics. However, the Ford SUV is likely to be based on Mahindra's platform and could share a majority of components. Further, it could also use the same powertrain options that will empower the new XUV500. This comprises Mahindra’s new mStallion 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol and 2.2-liter turbocharged diesel engines. While the former motor is proficient in producing 190PS of max power and 330Nm of peak torque, the latter produces 180PS/400Nm of maximum output. Both engines are expected to be offered with both manual and automatic gearbox choices along with an all-wheel-drive system.
As far as the features are concerned, the upcoming Ford SUV could pack a wide list of premium features such as an all-LED illumination system, large touchscreen infotainment with Ford-Pass connected technology, apple carplay & android auto smartphone connectivity, powered driver's seat, multiple airbags, ABS with EBD, traction control, ESC and level-1 autonomous driver assistance technology that is likely to debut in the second-generation Mahindra XUV500.
We believe that Ford will launch this SUV sometime in late-2021, after the 2021 Mahindra XUV500. In the Indian market, it will rival the likes of Jeep Compass, Tata Harrier, Hyundai Tucson, MG Hector, and its donor 2nd-gen Mahindra XUV500.