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All new Mahindra Pik-Up ute looms: no sporty Ranger Raptor rival planned; new model will replace current-gen

Olek Novak

A more lifestyle-focused replacement to the current-generation Pik-Up will be a closer competitor to Ranger and Hilux, but will still maintain a focus on value

The next-generation of Mahindra’s Pik-Up ute has its sights set on becoming a more formidable competitor to the segment dominating Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger, but the brand says it will maintain a clear focus on value and won’t compete head on with a sporty variant at the pointy end of the ute market.  

However, while a focus on value remains paramount, the brand has also confirmed that the more lifestyle-focused new generation will replace the budget-friendly current generation Pik-Up as opposed to being sold alongside it, as had previously been speculated. 

The current Pik-Up was the first vehicle launched by Mahindra in Australia

This is due to the significant costs that would be required to ensure the older vehicle complies with tightening safety and emissions regulations, meaning that the new Pik-Up will effectively become the brand’s ‘do-everything’ ute.

No Raptor-rival planned for “workhorse” ute

Speaking to Chasing Cars, Mahindra vice president and head of international operations Joydeep Moitra said that the current-generation Pik-Up’s roots won’t be forgotten when the new generation launches.

“So there is this workhorse element that will be there. And especially in the single cab, especially for tradies, that workhorse value proposition will not get diluted. That’s very key about this particular [model]”.

However, asked whether a Ranger Raptor rival could form part of the lineup, the answer was clear.

2023 Ford Ranger Raptor in code orange with a black leather interior
Mahindra says a sporty rival to the Ford Ranger Raptor (pictured) is not part of the plan for the new Pik-Up

“That’s not part of the strategy. As I said we need to maintain the very special balance between not losing ourselves completely, but at the same time offering a good value proposition, ticking off a lot of boxes, but not getting into a complete lifestyle stage.

“I would rather be more comfortable that we offer customers accessorization opportunities. So in that sense, they’re able to really beef up to the extent that they need and we do not get into having a factory fitted $100,000 kind of Pik-Up coming out – that’s not our approach”.

Currently in development and expected to be released by 2026, a ‘Global Pik-Up’ concept was revealed by the brand earlier this year previewing what we can expect from the less agricultural and more lifestyle focused vehicle. 

2024 Mahindra Pikip concept ute
The ‘Global Pik-Up’ concept revealed by Mahindra this year previews what we can expect from the next-generation ute

However, moving the Pik-Up up in market to better compete against popular tough utes whilst simultaneously also maintaining the brand’s defining value-proposition speaks to the intricate balance Mahindra is set to navigate as it sets its sights on becoming a household name in Australia.

Higher prices but won’t “end up like a Hilux”

While a focus on value and maintaining a “workhorse” element will be key, Mr Moitra was candid that an increase in prices would occur when the next-generation Pik-Up eventually goes on sale given its focus on including the creature comforts expected from a ‘do-everything’ utility.

“Will the prices go up significantly? Yes, because there is more focus on safety, electronics, and infotainment.

“But that’s a challenge to still maintain a compelling value proposition and not end up like a Hilux”, he said.

The Toyota Hilux (pictured) and Ford Ranger utes dominate Australian sales charts

As the first Mahindra to be sold in Australia, the current generation of the Pik-Up developed a cult following in rural areas as a budget-focused alternative to the likes of the Toyota Land Cruiser over a decade ago.

There had been previous speculation that Mahindra could employ a similar model that Toyota does with its Land Cruiser and offer both generations simultaneously in order to appeal to multiple customer segments. However, given this won’t be the case Mahindra is now focusing on broadening the Pik-Up’s appeal whilst maintaining appeal to its traditional customer base.

“So our idea is not to lose that particular set. We will probably move up a little bit, so to some extent yes there are some customers we may not be able to cater to”.

2020 Mahindra Black Edition mHAWK PikUp
Mahindra says the new Pik-Up will retain the “work-horse” element of the original

But Mr Moitra also said that the current-generation Pik-Up has changed in value-proposition over the years.

“Maybe 10 years back, our pickups used to be between $20,000 and $24,000. Now, we are selling pickups at about $35,000 to $40,000”.

“So clearly we have even in this last 10 years moved up in terms of value proposition and then the new Pik-Up comes in again we will move – does that mean some of those customers are lost? 

2020 Mahindra Black Edition mHAWK PikUp 2
The original Pik-Up developed a cult following in rural areas

“Maybe yes, but I think overall the brand is becoming more contemporary and it is attracting a wider set of customers. So therefore clearly we want to be in this particular category where there’s bigger volumes.”

Australian requirements pivotal for the new Pik-Up

The new Pik-Up will be an instrumental vehicle in Mahindra’s aspirations to be “amongst the top 10 SUV and ute brands (in Australia) by 2030”.

“Australia is amongst one of the largest SUV and pick-up brands in the world. Mahindra is an SUV and pick-up specialist. So if we have to succeed in global markets, Australia has to be one of the markets where you have to play. It’s as simple as that”, said Mr Moitra.

With this said, Mr Moitra spoke to some of the important Australian-specific considerations for the new vehicle, noting that towing is key.

2023 Mahindra Scorpio going through a rut
The Mahindra Scorpio in the Simpson Desert in Australia

“Now what we need to test in Australian conditions are things like towing which we do not do here [in India]. So does it do well with a three-and-a-half-tonne (or) two-and-a-half-tonne trailer?” 

It was noted that the new Pik-Up is targeting a 3.5-tonne towing capacity, with extensive testing of the new vehicle set to take place in Australia prior to its launch. 

“Yes, that’s the plan [for 3.5-tonne capacity]. So clearly that is something we want to test out the very specific Aussie customer requirements for”.

What else can we expect from the new Pik-Up?

The vehicle is being “conceptualised with diesel powertrains” understood to be a version of the current-generation Scorpio large SUVs 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel, with outputs expected in the vicinity of 140kW and 450Nm.

Mahindra Scorpio 2023 off road
The new Pik-Up is expected to ride on a heavily modified version of the current-generation Scorpio’s platform

It’s also understood the new Pik-Up will ride on a heavily modified version of the current generation Scorpio four-wheel-drive platform.

“Everything has to be done from the ground up… it’s a longer timeframe,” said Mr Moitra who also pointed to the “extensive validation” that will follow development.

As such, it’s not expected we’ll see the new Pik-Up on Australian roads until 2026.

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