Utilitarian

January 3rd, 2010

I love utilitarian vehicles – cars that are built for a purpose, in which every part has a function.  (Fake hood scoops, on the other hand, piss me off.)

Mahindra TR20

Mahindra TR20

Mahindra is probably the largest car company that you (here in the U.S.) haven’t heard of.  But you will soon.  …Or, at least eventually. They plan to begin selling a line of pick-up trucks in the U.S. in 2010: the TR20 two-door, the TR40 four-door, and a similarly styled SUV.  These large-compact pick-ups have some interesting specs, such as a 2.2-liter diesel engine that gets 30 mpg, and a large bed that can haul an impressive 2,765 pounds – more than most full-size U.S.-built trucks of the 1500/F-150 variety.  And it looks utilitarian – no expanses of chrome or other useless adornment here.  If a piece is there, it’s for a reason.  For example, the truck has built-in tie-down hooks along the outer edge of the cargo area – a simple and more elegant solution than Utili-trak system on Nissan‘s Titan.

I like this truck. I hope it does well, when it finally arrives.  (The introduction has been repeatedly delayed – the current prediction is this coming Spring).  But American truck-buyers are a fickle (and loyal) bunch.  Getting consumers to embrace a not-quite-Ford-tough-looking truck made in India, with an engine that sacrifices a little power for efficiency, may be a tough sell.

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