Indian Carmaker Plans Diesel-Hybrid Pickup for the U.S.
Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra plans to introduce a diesel-hybrid pickup truck for sale in the U.S. by 2010. The pickup, called the Appalachian, would become the first diesel-hybrid to hit the light-duty market in the United States. Currently, the only diesel hybrids in the U.S. come in the form of mass transit buses.
The two- and four-door pickup, roughly the size of a Toyota Tacoma, will be powered by a 2.2-liter four-cylinder clean-diesel engine designed by Bosch. Output should be 145 horsepower with 300 lb-ft of torque. It will be offered in two- or four-wheel drive, and have a payload capacity of about 2,600 pounds. The Senior VP of Product Development at Mahindra is Dr. Arun Jaura, former head of vehicle engineering for Ford’s Escape Hybrid platform. Further details are unknown.
Mahindra says a diesel-only model of the Appalachian, which will come out in 2009, will yield fuel economy in the 30- to 35-mpg range. Mileage for the diesel-hybrid version is expected to exceed 40 miles per gallon.
According to Global Vehicles USA, the American importer for Mahindra, the cost of the Appalachian diesel pickup will be in the mid-$20,000s. The hybrid version is expected to carry a premium of an additional $5,000. The vehicle will be partially built in India, with the final assembly to be done in Ohio. The vehicle will be sold through a network of approximately 300 Mahindra dealers in the United States.