Mahindra TR40, the pick-up truck designed for the U.S. market, is back in the news for yet another controversy. According to FuelEconomy.gov, the TR40 returns a mileage of 19/21 mpg in city and highway respectively. That’s 9 mpg less than Mahindra’s claim of 30 mpg initially!
It has been a rough ride for the Mahindra TR40 in the U.S. so far. Mahindra’s legal dispute with “former” distributor Global Vehicles is still pending. And now, with the latest revelation regarding the TR40s fuel economy, the future of this pick-up truck is in jepoardy.
Mahindra’s website boasts of the many benefits its “cleaner” diesel engines have over traditional petrol mills. It says their engines emit 97% fewer sulfur emissions and 30% fewer greenhouse gases per mile than petrol engines. It also claims that Mahindra diesel engines will offer 20-40% better mileage. Sadly, that’s far from the truth as the fuel economy test results prove that Mahindra has missed its goal by one-third.
The TR40’s mileage falls short of even some of the mainstream U.S. auto makers’ (Ford, Dodge etc) pick-ups. Take, for instance, the 2011 Dodge Dakota. It is powered by a 3.7-litre V6 engine and delivers a fuel economy of 14/18 mpg, the 2011 Ford F-150 powered by a 3.7-litre V6 engine puts out 17/23 mpg while the Toyota Tacoma automatic, powered by a V6 petrol engine gives 16/20 mpg. Besides, it misses the most critical reason why buyers opt for smaller diesel pickups – to save on fuel costs.
The four-door TR40, quite obviously, gets second-row seating for two adults, which inevitably shortens the cargo space. The TR20 boasts a best-in-class 7.5 foot bed and a payload capacity of up to 1,254 kg. Mahindra claims the TR20’s bed is the longest in any compact pick-up sold in America. The TR40, on the other hand, can take a payload of up to 1,194 kg.
Both TR20 and TR40 are powered by a 2.2-litre common-rail diesel engine that produces a peak power of 140 hp and a peak torque of 319 Nm. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the pickups will be available in two- and four-wheel-drive options. Both pickups feature AM/FM/CD/ USB audio system with MP3 playback, SD card slot and iPod adapter. The expected price of the TR20 is $22000 (Rs 9.92 lakhs).
Those who have already test driven the Mahindra TR20 say they are impressed with the car’s drivability and performance. However, they too have highlighted the fact that only a decent fuel efficiency will help the TR40 make any sort of impact in the highly competitive pickup market.
There is also a possibility that the competition, especially Ford and Dodge, could launch their own fuel-efficient diesel engine for its 1.5 ton pick-up truck to compete with TR40. With tough times ahead, will the Mahindra TR40 see the ? Let’s wait and watch.