India’s largest SUV manufacturer, Mahindra Automotive, is on track to launch a range of electric SUVs in the coming years in the country. The new lineup of cars has now been reported to come powered by the German automotive giant Volkswagen’s all-new APP550 electric motor. This brand-new EV motor was showcased by the carmaker back in April of this year. The APP550 electric motor will be a rear-axle-mounted motor, which will be powering VW’s ID range of EVs and also the upcoming highly anticipated Mahindra Thar.e and BE (Born Electric) range of EV SUVs.
Mahindra Automotive has reportedly designed its INGLO platform to house this brand-new APP550 electric motor from Volkswagen. The company will be using the same INGLO platform on all its electric SUVs coming in the future, including the first model, BE.05. This mid-size EV SUV will be making its debut in 2025. As for the first-ever car to feature this motor, it will be Volkswagen’s ID.7 electric mid-size liftback sedan.
All-new Volkswagen APP550 electric motor: In details
According to Volkswagen, this all-new, more powerful electric motor will be able to produce a maximum of 286 bhp of power and 550 Nm of torque. Prior to this motor, Volkswagen’s most efficient and powerful EV motor produced a maximum of 201 bhp of power and 310 Nm of torque. Most likely, under the bonnet of Mahindra Thar.e and BE EV SUVs, this motor will be offering the same power specifications.
Coming to the specific details about the newest motor from Volkswagen: as it is widely known, the performance of an electric drive unit relies significantly on the current it receives. So for this, Volkswagen has improved its inverter to effectively supply the necessary high-phase currents, essentially acting as the brain of the powertrain.
To achieve a higher torque output, the APP550 electric drive unit has undergone several enhancements as well. The new APP550 EV motor boasts an improved stator with more windings and a larger wire cross-section. Apart from this, its rotor has now been equipped with stronger magnets that can handle heavier loads. Additionally, structural reinforcements were necessary to withstand the increased power and torque outputs, which the German automotive giant has provided for this motor.
Lastly, efficient thermal management is crucial for maximizing the efficiency of an electric drive unit. The APP550 motor doesn’t rely on an electrically driven oil pump for cooling. Instead, it can independently regulate its temperature through the gear wheels of the gearbox and specially designed components for oil supply and distribution. The heated oil is subsequently cooled by the vehicle’s coolant circuit, ensuring the drive unit maintains its optimal operating temperature. The stator’s exterior features a water heat sink to further help in cooling more efficiently.
Volkswagen’s plan for the production of APP550 motor
It has been reported that, at the beginning, this brand-new EV motor will be produced in Volkswagen Group Components plant in Kassel, Germany. However, it has also been reported that if the demand from the EVs using this motor in India by Mahindra Automotive, Volkswagen India, and Skoda India increases, it could look into manufacturing it locally. Now, where exactly this EV motor will be produced in India has not been reported, but that is something which will be reported at a much later stage.
Currently, this new electric motor will be making its way under the shells of Mahindra EV SUVs. However, it has also been reported that the German auto giant Volkswagen is open to offering this same electric motor to other interested manufacturers as well. The company has also stated that, despite this openness, at the moment, its key focus is on developing and nurturing this newly formed partnership with Mahindra Automotive.
As for the cars this motor will be offered in India, the most anticipated one is the Mahindra Thar.e. The company showcased the concept vehicle of this extremely impressive electrified iteration of its popular lifestyle off-roader Thar, called the Thar.e, in South Africa during its annual Independence Day event. Following the unveiling, it was then revealed by the company chief and CEO, Anand Mahindra, that this EV SUV will be definitely going into production.