Friday, January 4, 2008

MAHINDRA AXE-the Indian Hummer

The Mahindra axe is an Indian alternative to the American HUMMER. This vehicle from Mahindra & Mahindra, has undergone the necessary tests recently. The Mahindra Axe is being built as per Indian Army specifications. The vehicle is an IPR of the Mahindras and even an engine is being indigenously developed for it. Two prototypes have been developed for army testing, a report said quoting an M&M official, and will have both open and hard-top versions, capable of mounting artillery. The Mahindra Axe has been developed by a team consisting of Indian and Israeli designers. Some components of the Axe are being imported.

It is muscular and capable of navigating through any terrain. The Axe will replace the Indian Army’s Mahindra Jeeps. According to Brigadier Khutub A Hai, CEO, Mahindra defence systems the Axe was designed with help from an overseas designer. An absolutely new platform is used for developing the Axe and it is developed to suit the Indian needs. Mahindra has developed a petrol version of the Axe for the special forces of a foreign country while the diesel one is for the Indian Army. Mahindra will initially import the engines for the Axe, later it will install its own engine into the Axe. Axe’s petrol version uses a more than 4 litre GM Votec engine while the diesel uses a 2.7 litre Ssangyong diesel.Mahindra has been testing the Axe ranging from 150hp to 400hp. The transmission system for the Axe is borrowed from Mercedes-Benz. According to Mahindra The diesel axe offers around 8-9 km per litre while the petrol axe offers 6/7 km per litre. The Axe has a payload of 120 kg with a 3500 GVW. Axe’s biggest USP is its suspension system (it’s an all-wheel independent suspension vehicle) which gives its extreme mobility. Mahindra has already received an order from a foreign army for 215 units of Axe of which 15 are being shipped right away. Mahindra is looking to export this axe to countries like Malaysia next year (diesel version) and for Africa, Gulf, UAE, Jordan.

Axe civilian version:
Mahindra has a long and successful record designing Jeeps and SUVs for military and civilian use. There’s a lot of visible commonality between the Axe and a several of Mahindra’s own SUVs.Hence not alone the Indian army is gifted, we too! Yes, Mahindra is planning a civilian version of the Axe.The civilian version of axe will be ready by 2009 with an automatic transmission. Axe’s civillian version will be homologated with styling and other changes. But it will use a Mahindra driveline. The basic characteristic of performance will be the same but the looks will be different like the Humvee and Hummer. For the civilian version of axe the engine displacement will be lowered and there will be cosmetic changes on the dashboard. But the Mahindra wants to keep the suspension and platform will be unchanged. Axe civilian verison will be only diesel and with automatic transmission. Mahindra will showcase the axe at the 2008 delhi Auto Expo. Mahindra’s commercial Axe is expected to be priced roughly between Rs 12 lakh and Rs 22 lakh.

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