As far as small vans go, the Mahindra Marazzo — launched in India last week — has a unique layout. It's a body-on-frame vehicle, but with front-wheel drive. Mahindra, which plans to sell the vehicle at first only in India and only with right-hand drive, designed, engineered and developed the Marazzo at its suburban Detroit technical center.
Mahindra says the Marazzo has been designed to meet global safety standards and is the first of a new generation of vehicles the Indian company plans to fuel its expansion. The starting price in India is about $10,000; the vehicle is powered by a 121-hp 1.5-liter diesel engine and six-speed manual transmission. The seven-seater is close to the size of a Ford C-Max.
The company, which is trying to win market share from Suzuki and rival Tata Motors, says the Marazzo "combines the deep experience of American engineering with the prudent mindset and local marketing expertise of Mahindra's engineering team based in Chennai, India."
Mahindra's efforts to launch a vehicle in North America — a Jeep Wrangler knockoff called the Roxor — are on hold as a lawsuit filed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles works its way through the courts. FCA claims the Roxor uses Jeep designs.