As we’ve mentioned here before, the long life of the Grumman Long-Life Vehicle (LLV) that’s been America’s deliverer of bills and supermarket circulars for decades is about to come to an end. It’s time to find a new Mail Truck for America, and there’s some interesting competitors in the mix, including the Indian juggernaut, Mahindra. I think we’re seeing their mail truck in these pictures.
I think it’s Mahindra’s because of the proportions and those steel wheels, which I believe are ones Mahindra uses. There’s some other circumstantial factors as well, but I can’t expand on those.
These were sent in by an eagle-eyed reader named Karl, who spotted the postal-wanna-be around Sterling Heights, Michigan.
Mahindra’s mail truck is supposedly based on their Genio pickup truck, which I drove in India and found to be a pretty decent little truck. For U.S. Post Office duty, Mahindra is planning to use the mild-hybrid drivetrain from the Chevy Colorado pickup, which is, of course, already compliant to American emissions laws.
The mail truck we see here seems to be a pretty evolutionary design from the LLV. It’s got a very tall greenhouse and a massive, flat windshield, a roomy-looking cargo box area, and some of the most massive, cushiony-looking bumpers I’ve seen on anything since those 1970s experimental safety cars.
The lighting looks like off-the-shelf LED units, which is smart, and details like that plus those massive bumpers suggests that this is designed to be a vehicle that’s forgiving of small accidents and cheap to fix, a big plus for a workhorse fleet vehicle.
There’s a little lump over the grille that I think may be a forward-view camera, but I’m not absolutely certain.
Overall, it looks like a competent mail truck; I think the biggest question from postal workers is likely to be what the A/C system is like, since the LLVs had nothing but a fan, and every mail carrier I’ve ever spoken to wanted to murder their LLVs in the summer as a result.
Who’s going to win America’s postage-stamp heart? I can’t wait to see how this all shakes out.
UPDATE (October 27, 8:36am): An official source at Mahindra has confirmed this is not one of their prototypes. Oh well. So now we know, this is not what Mahindra’s prototype looks like.