The Indian auto market is one of the fastest growing markets on the globe. It may not be riddled with sporty coupes and large SUVs, but small city cars and affordable 4x4s is the region’s speciality. Mahindra — a longtime Indian automaker – has been a staple in the market for durable and long-lasting off-roaders.
But how would a modern Mahindra translate in today’s market? Designer Makrand Patil thinks that the brand needs to evolve into a worldly competitor with his design for a new SUV — the Komodo.
We sat down with Makrand to learn more about this concept:
Where did you draw inspiration for this design?
We were a team of two, Makrand Patil (myself) and my friend Valery Dimov. Mahindra’s vehicles have always proved positive for the Indian terrain and so our inspiration was the authentic Mahindra DNA.
In the past, Mahindra produced their vehicles under the famous Willys production Line. The basic idea was to keep the legacy alive. Inheriting the true off-road capabilities with a spacious and comfortable interior. The vehicle is meant for the wild just like the Komodo Dragon.
How long did it take you from start to finish?
It took us almost four months to complete the project. Starting from understanding the brand values and the Indian market to the final Industrial Clay model. Myself being an Indian, it was not really difficult to understand the Indian market. So we had positive lead there.
What was the most challenging part of this concept?
The most challenging part I would say was to get the right blend of design between a Luxury SUV and an off-road vehicle.
What kind of power would this 4×4 have?
The project was developed keeping in mind that the vehicle will be for the near future ( say 2-3 years from now). Hence, it would be powered by a Diesel hybrid.
How did Mahindra like the project?
As this being our thesis project in IED Torino (Italy) we had officials from Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. and Mr. Chris Bangle (Ex chief of Design at BMW Group). The judges said that it was an interesting and overall well developed project. They found the name we gave it to be original because the features of the vehicle correlated with Komodo (as the dragon).
The whole idea behind the name came during the research of the brand. Mahindra has always being naming the vehicles ending with an O (ie: Scorpio, Bolero, XUV 5OO (just to name a few). Comodo with a C also means comfort in Italian (which was our base idea for this project), and hence comes the name Komodo.
Do you think it’s something they would enjoy producing?
I think the current generation in India would want a vehicle like this. Angular, strong, mean and street smart. Deigned to provide you the peace of mind. And, of course, all the off-road capabilities you have come to expect from a Mahindra.
Bold and uncompromising, challenging the limits of the nature and not giving up.
Thanks to Makrand for taking time to answer some questions!