Mahindra has showcased the new Thar with new engines and more everyday usability
After much teasing, Mahindra has finally taken the wraps off the new Thar. The Thar is available, like before as a two-door off-roader, but has been given a complete overhaul in terms of the styling, interiors, features, engines and even the suspension set up and off-road ability.
Unlike the older Thar which had only a diesel engine on offer, with a manual gearbox, the new Thar has more options. The Thar gets two engines— the mStallion direct injection turbo-petrol making 150bhp and 320Nm, and the mHawk diesel making 130bhp and 300Nm. There is a six-speed manual on offer, and for the first time, the option of an automatic on both engines. The transfer case with low ratio is standard across all variants and the lever is no longer on the floor, but beside the gear stick. There’s a mechanical locking differential on the rear axle and a brake locking differential on both axles should help in tricky situations. The wheels have been upsized — 18s as standard with 255/65 all terrain tyres standard.
Then styling of the Thar has been worked on heavily as well. It retains its boxy silhouette but it has been refreshed to meet modern crash safety norms and evolved tastes. The face has been significantly reworked and while you will notice a bit of Wrangler in the arches, the face is distinctly Mahindra — inspired by their older off-roaders. More interesting is that the Thar is now offered as a hard-top from the factory, and the roof panels can be removed for an open-air experience! The new Thar retains its impressive off-road ability, with a departure angle of 37-degrees, ramp over angle of 27-degrees and approach angle of 42 degrees. Ground clearance when unladen is 226mm while it can wade through 650mm of water. The Thar is built on Mahindra’s third generation chassis, and it gets a new suspension set up as well — independent front suspension and a multilink axle at the rear.
The interiors have been massively updated. No longer does the Thar seem as utilitarian as it used to. For starters, the rear bench is forward facing with a 50:50 split and the front seats now get height adjustability and lumbar support. In terms of features, the Thar has really upped the game. It gets a 7-inch touchscreen with smartphone connectivity and also off-road displays — it tells you wheel angle, speed, pitch roll and also has a compass. There is a new instrument cluster with a coloured display, steering mounted audio and power windows. There are roof-mounted speakers as well, and a roll cage. In addition to all this, the Thar gets dual airbags, ABS, ESP, hill hold and hill descent control, a tyre pressure monitoring and ISOFIX seats. Despite all of this, the Thar gets washable interiors that can be hosed down after a day of mud-plugging.
The Thar will be available in two trims — the AX and the LX. The AX is the more basic version with steel wheels though it does get creature comforts like AC and parking assistance, though it misses out on a lot of the equipment mentioned above. This variant, is a six seater though with two forward facing seats and two benches in the rear like the old Thar. The LX is fully kitted out. One key distinction here is that the AX is only available as a manuals with both the petrol and diesel, while the LX is available with a diesel manual and automatic, and a petrol manual.
The Thar has only been unveiled for the time being, and prices will be announced on October 2. We are driving the Mahindra Thar right now, and our review will go live at 9pm today, so stay tuned. Right now, all we can say is that this new Thar looks mighty impressive and packs enough to appeal to both its core audience that enjoys off-roading, but also to a larger audience who will look at it as a lifestyle choice.