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Mahindra debuts new Thar SUV, here H1 2021

Mahindra photocopies Jeep Wrangler to create new Jimny-rivalling Thar SUV

19 Aug 2020

MAHINDRA has taken aim at the Suzuki Jimny with its new Thar SUV, a light SUV player promising “unmatched off-roading capability” when it lands here in the first half of next year.


Bearing more than a few visual similarities with the short-wheelbase Jeep Wrangler, the Thar is aimed squarely at the off-road market with minimal overhangs, low-range gearing and part-time four-wheel-drive.


Measuring in at 3985mm long and up to 1855mm wide, the Thar rides on a 2450mm wheelbase and boasts approach and departure angles of 41.8 and 36.8 degrees respectively with a 27-degree rampover angle.


Ground clearance is pegged at between 219mm and 226mm depending on the variant with an official wading depth of up to 650mm.


Suspension duties are handled by an independent double wishbone setup at the front while a multi-link arrangement takes care of things at the rear with a solid rear axle.


Power comes courtesy of either a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine good for 112kW of power and up to 320Nm of torque, or a the same 2.2-litre turbo-diesel mill as found in the Pikup 4x4 ute, which develops 97kW/320Nm.


Both powerplants can be paired to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic, however the former drops the petrol engine’s maximum torque figure down to 300Nm.


A locking rear differential is also fitted as standard to all variants.


Three body styles – hard-top, convertible and soft-top – and three trim levels – AX AC, AX Opt and LX – are available overseas with exact Australian line-up and pricing yet to be announced.


Depending on the variant, two seating arrangements are also available, the first being the traditional four forward-facing (two front, two rear) or a two forward (front) and four side-facing (rear) setup.


As alluded to earlier, the Thar bears more than a few similarities with the short wheelbase Jeep Wrangler, something that is no coincidence and possible due to Mahindra still holding the manufacturing licence for the classic Willys Jeep.


The familiar deep-set, singular headlights, vertically slashed square grille, boxy cabin and square rear end are all present with the whole package rolling on 18-inch alloy wheels shod with 255/65 R18 all-terrain tyres.


Standard equipment inside includes sports front seats, split folding rear seats, roof mounted speakers, height adjustable driver seat with adjustable lumbar support, one-touch tip and slide passenger seat for rear access, tilt adjustable steering wheel, power windows, powered wing mirrors and central locking with remote flip key.


Technological touches centre around a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen featuring both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, Mahindra adventure statistics display and Adventure Connect.


For the driver, there is a multifunction steering wheel behind which sits a multi-information display along with tyre pressure monitoring and wheel angle displays.


Cruise control is also fitted as standard.


In terms of safety kit, the entire overseas Thar range comes as standard with anti-lock brakes, electronic brake distribution, dual airbags, panic braking signal, rear parking sensors, hill-start assist and hill-descent control.


According to Mahindra Auto and Farm Sectors executive director Rajesh Jejurikar, the Thar “will enhance the appeal of a brand that is already a cult, to a wider set of consumers”.


“It will target people who seek extraordinary journeys and wish to explore the impossible,” he said.

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