Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) today revealed the all-new 2020 Mahindra Thar, on India’s 74th Independence Day. It is also fitting that the official launch of the company’s next-gen off-roader will happen on M&M’s 75th anniversary: October 2.
With the new-gen Thar, Mahindra is looking to further the legacy of the off-roader, which traces its roots all the way back to the CJ3A that emerged in 1949. Over the years, the baton was passed on to the CJ3B, then the MM540, the Classic, Major and Legend, before the Thar arrived on the scene in 2010. A full decade later, the second-generation Mahindra Thar is here.
In what comes as no surprise, the new Mahindra Thar retains the instantly recognisable shape of its predecessor, along with signaturedesign cues – circular headlights, a seven-slot grille, chunky wheels and boxy tail-lights – all upgraded to look suitably modern. Another important thing to know is the 2020 Mahindra Thar is built on a new ladder-frame chassis and also has all-new suspension. There will be six colours to choose from - Red Rage, Mystic Copper, Napoli Black, Aquamarine, Galaxy Grey and Rocky Beige.
Mahindra has previously stated its desire to make the new Thar more of a mainstream vehicle without compromising on its off-road abilities, and to that effect, has added more creature comforts to the new-gen 4x4. A 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, roof-mounted speakers, a colour multi-info display for the instrument cluster, a reverse camera, steering-mounted controls, cruise control and power-folding mirrors will be part of the package.
There’s a forward-facing rear bench seat with a 50:50 split folding function, and the new Thar is also available with a soft-top as well as a factory-fitted hard top. Standard safety kit will include dual airbags, ABS with EBD, Isofix child seat mounts, hill-start and descent assist, ESP with roll-over mitigation and three-point seatbelts for four passengers.
While the original Thar was on offer only in diesel-manual configuration, the new Mahindra Thar will come with multiple engine-gearbox options, including a petrol engine and a choice of an automatic gearbox for the first time. The Thar debuts a new 152hp/320Nm, 2.0-litre mStallion petrol engine that gets a 6-speed manual as standard and also the option of a 6-speed automatic.
The new Thar’s diesel engine is a 132hp/300Nm, 2.2-litre mHawk unit, which will be available with a 6-speed manual gearbox as well an Aisin-sourced 6-speed torque converter automatic.
A four-wheel-drive system will be on offer with both, the petrol and the diesel versions. A manual shift trasfer case will also be standard across all variants. Mahindra claims a ground clearance of 226mm, a water-wading depth of 650mm, and approach, ramp-over and departure angles of 42 degrees, 27 degrees and 37 degrees, respectively. This bodes well for its off-roading capabilities.
Official launch on October 2
Unveiling the new Thar, Dr Pawan Goenka, MD and CEO, M&M said, “Today, with the unveil of the all-new Thar, we rewrite history once again. The new Thar is firmly rooted in our rich automotive heritage and upholds the Mahindra DNA in its purest form. We are proud of our authentic SUV legacy that has been guarding the freedom of this nation by serving the armed forces since the 1950s, while simultaneously becoming the spirit of adventure and a lifestyle icon. The new Thar is a dynamic expression of fun, freedom and independence, and is geared up for its next adventure”.
According to Rajesh Jejurikar, executive director, Auto & Farm Sectors, M&M, “The new 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. The new Thar will be launched on October 2, 2020 which is also our Founders Day."
Veejay Nakra, CEO, Automotive Division, M&M, said, “The Thar has represented the spirit of freedom, thrill and fun-to-drive character that few other vehicles can match. With the new Thar, we aim to protect this legacy with superior performance both on and off the tarmac, advanced technology features, excellent safety and everyday ride comfort, all adding to the unadulterated driving pleasure of a true-blue modern SUV.
The new Thar will face competition from the new Force Gurkha, which is also expected to arrive in the coming months.
There will be two versions of the new Thar that will go on sale - AX and LX. The former gets a fixed soft top, comes with a 6-seat configuration, gets 16-inch white steel wheels, mechanical locking diff, power windows, power steering, a manual HVAC, central locking and rear parking sensors as standard. The 2020 Thar AX will only be available in diesel-manual and petrol-manual form.
Standard equipment on the Thar LX includes a convertible or hard top, a 4-seat layout, dual-tone bumpers, 18-inch alloy wheels shod in 255/65 R18 all-terrain tyres, LED DRLs and fog lamps, an eight-way adjustable driver's seat, the 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a tyre pressure monitoring system, auto AC and ESP. This version will come in petrol-auto, diesel-manual and diesel-automatic form.