Mahindra & Mahindra wants to up the ante in the SUV market with the new Mahindra Thar. The model will also have the responsibility of helping the OEM shore up some market share, which increased competition from new players have captured better. Built on a new platform, the new Mahindra Thar will be launched on October 2, also the Mahindra Gorup’s 75th founding day.
The Thar brand was launched in 2010, and 60,000 units of the model has been sold till date. At the unveiling event of the new Mahindra Thar in M&M’s design studio in Kandivali, Mumbai, Dr Pawan Goenka, MD & CEO, M&M said that the Thar so far had missed something. “It lacked comfort and many features,” he said.
The new Mahindra Thar, designed by M&M’s in-house design team led by Kripa Ananthan, and developed and engineered at Mahindra Research Valley, by M&M’s global product development head R Velusamy and team, will address those gaps while offering some new features too. An interesting one among them is the real-time display of information like roll, pitch of the vehicle as it drives on an off-road terrain.
Unlike the current Thar, which is available only in diesel (NA and common rail tech options), the new Mahindra Thar is powered by a 2.2 litre diesel engine and also by a new 2.0 litre petrol engine. The diesel unit produces peak power of 130 bhp and torque of 320 Nm. The torque level remains the same in the petrol variant, while the power output goes up to 150 bhp.
The new Mahindra Thar will appeal to a much wider audience compared to the existing version, now that it has a petrol option as well as a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox option, and a front-facing second row of seats. The vehicle will also offer 3 roof options – hard top, convertible top, and soft top. The vehicle comes with 245/75 R16 tyres, with an option of 255/65 R18 tyres with 789 mm tyre diameter.
The new vehicle tries to build on the Thar’s 4X4 story, with a four-wheel drive system with a dedicated torque split transfer case provides 50:50 power split. The mechanical ‘Shift-on-fly’ feature allows a shift from 2-high to 4-high on the move. Further, M&M says shifting from 4-high to 4-low mode can multiply the torque by 2.48 times for good low-speed crawling and rock-climbing capabilities. The new Mahindra Thar offers a crawl ratio of 42:1 on both the petrol and diesel manual transmission variants.
The new Mahindra Thar is the first of the three key product offerings by M&M. The others being the new XUV500 and the new Scorpio. All these will power M&M challenge in the market to wrest back market share and strengthen the OEM’s image of an SUV major. The new Mahindra Thar will have the highest responsibility in building the serious SUV maker’s image. “The all-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,” says Dr. Goenka.
Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director, Auto & Farm Sectors, M&M, says, “The All-New Thar will enhance the appeal of a brand that is already a cult, to a wider set of consumers.” That the new Thar will mostly likely will. It’s also crucial for M&M that it does, especially at a time when the OEM is facing more challenges from newcomers who are focusing on the SUV segment, and in a market that’s facing unprecedented tough times. “The Thar has represented the spirit of freedom, thrill and fun-to-drive character that few other vehicles can match. With the All-New Thar, we aim to protect this legacy with superior performance both on and off the tarmac,“ says Veejay Nakra, CEO, automotive division, M&M.
All eyes now on October 2, when the price of the new Mahindra Thar will be announced.