At the base of the Marazzo is an all new platform. An old school body on ladder construction
Blame it on the platform
At the base of the Marazzo is not some new age fancy monocoque but an old school body on ladder construction. In fact, this is the world's first body on frame platform to feature front wheel drive and is a development that is patented by Mahindra. The development of the platform itself was done jointly by Mahindra's North American Technical Centre in Detroit and the Mahindra Research Valley in Chennai, led from the front by Keith Takasawa, VP of product development.
At the technical presentation before the actual drive of the vehicle, Takasawa enlightened us about its myriad advantages. Thanks to this, the Marazzo could be made roomier than the Innova Crysta, its principal rival, and yet be 150mm shorter. A distinct advantage in a scenario where urban road space per vehicle is steadily shrinking. Because the body on frame has been constructed to meet Indian safety norms at present, even though the company said it can be beefed up to meet global crash regulations, it is lighter and has the best footprint to weight ratio and weighs between 1600-1650kg. Well under two tonnes. To help save weight even parts of the suspension have been made of forged aluminium castings.
Probed further however, Takasawa and his team did reveal the primary reasoning behind the body on frame construction. Ruggedness. The team's research and market analysis led them to the conclusion that the MPV customer, especially in India, wants his ute to be rugged and a body on frame would lead to a more rugged vehicle than one built on a monocoque. A strange argument given that the company's flagship SUV, the XUV 500, is built on a monocoque. Which leads us to the conclusion that the reasons for developing a body on frame platform must also be economic even though the company isn't really saying so. As for the front wheel drive, well that helps packaging. Mahindra's engineers could develop a vehicle with a flat floor and push the whole powertrain package further front to release more space in the cabin. Now, that is an argument that makes perfect sense.
For inside the Marazzo, there's just acres and acres of room. There's plenty of legroom at the front, in the middle row and even in