Earlier this week, Autocar Professional had reported that Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA), the US manufacturing arm of Mahindra & Mahindra, has begun assembly of the Mahindra Roxor off-roader equipped with an automatic transmission. At present, MANA rolls out around 30 units of the Roxor every day from its Auburn Hills, Michigan plant. What was not known then was the identity of the supplier of the auto transmission.
Now, we can reveal that the Mahindra Roxor A/T comes fitted with a six-speed transmission supplied by Punch Powerglide, the transmission manufacturing arm of the Punch Group of Belgium.
In an effort to give more traction to sales in the US, where car buyers prefer automatic transmission-equipped model, MANA has now mated the 64hp, 2.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine with a six-speed AT, adding to the SUV’s appeal and also taking on rivals that come with automatic gearboxes. The Mahindra Roxor was launched last year with a five-speed manual gearbox and standard 4WD gear.
According to MANA, the Roxor six-speed automatic transmission “learns your driving pattern. The precisely tuned transmission electronic control module (TECM) then provides effortless drivability and torque demand for whatever driving conditions you encounter.”
The new Roxor AT is priced at a substantial premium over its manual transmission-equipped sibling. The Roxor AT has a sticker price of $ 18,999 (Rs 13.79 lakh), compared to the Roxor MT’s $ 15,999 (Rs 11.09 lakh). What the additional price gets you is the Punch Powerglide six-speed transmission, a rollover protection system and two optional rear passenger seats.
As is known, the Roxor, which is essentially a Mahindra Thar-based utility vehicle, is retailed in the USA as a side-by-side or UV in the North American market in and is classified as an off-highway vehicle in the US). Additionally, Mahindra will also supply the vehicle to the US Federal Postal Service.
Punch Powerglide: a transmission powerhouse
For nearly 50 years, Punch Powerglide's core business involves developing, producing and delivering automatic transmissions to car manufacturers worldwide. The company, a global automatic transmission supplier, was originally formed as General Motors Strasbourg, and since 2013 under the registered name of Punch Powerglide Strasbourg (PPS).
In 2006, the company (as General Motors Strasbourg) launched its first generation of six-speed automatic transmissions, a product which has seen surging demand and is now the flagship of the Punch Powerglide brand. The Punch Powerglide six-speed transmissions are designed for specific rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicles such as pickups, SUVs, MPVs and LCVs.
Punch Powerglide currently markets two variants of six-speed automatic transmissions: a standard version – with or without ‘Stop & Start’ option and a most recent hybrid version (6LP2) offering the advantage of reducing significantly the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions while optimising the mileage range. This type of product is especially suited for PHEV vehicles (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle).
The company supplies its transmissions globally to OEMs including General Motors (Cadillac, Holden, Chevrolet), BMW, India’s Tata Motors and a number of Chinese manufacturers (SAIC, Vhina Hi-tech Automobile, Changfeng Motor, Guangdong Foday Automobile and SG Automotive Group). Now, Mahindra, through MANA, has joined its list of clientele.
Also read: Mahindra & Mahindra looking to set up second plant in Michigan