Indian automobile major Mahindra and Mahindra is gearing up to unveil the new-gen Thar SUV in India on August 15, 2020. The company has already listed the SUV on its official website and we hear a select few Mahindra dealerships in the country have already started accepting bookings. The new-gen Mahindra Thar has been spotted testing at various occasions dropping a strong hint of what to expect in terms of the overall design and features. While the silhouette remains unchanged, we believe the SUV will see a serious transformation in exterior and cabin design, features and even performance. While the top bosses are saving all the details of the upcoming SUV till the unveiling date, they believe the 2020 Thar will not only be targetted towards off-road enthusiasts but will also attract mainstream SUV buyers. Here's what we know so far about the new-gen Mahindra Thar SUV.
When you see new-gen SUVs like the recently unveiled new-gen Ford Bronco or the Land Rover Defender, both these offerings stand true to the classic in terms of the old-school design but with a modern touch. Mahindra too has retained the boxy design in the new-gen Thar but has updated it to look modern, which ensures the purists are catered to while also inviting new-age buyers looking for a rugged yet modern SUV. From the spy images, it can be seen that the Jeep-CJ inspired facia with the 7-slat grille has been carried over in the new-gen offering as well. The overall appearance of the new Thar does have a strong resemblance to the much more premium, Jeep Wrangler.
Underpinning the 2020 Mahindra Thar is believed to be an updated ladder-frame chassis
The SUV now looks wider with the larger track and bigger fenders. Much like the classic design, the large bonnet features hinged clamps. The circular fog lamps are housed on the bumper while the LED DRLs along with the turn indicators are positioned on the fenders. The larger wing mirrors also get Thar branding on them. The SUV does look dimensionally larger than the previous offering when seen along the length. Further, the base variants get steel wheels while the premium-spec trims will sport blacked out 5-spoke allows with Thar etched on them. The SUV runs on Ceat CzarÂ 265/65 R17 tyres.Â What has remain unchanged is the position of the spare wheel that continues to be on the side-hinged rear door. Also, the taillights are LEDs with Thar branding on them. Unlike the previous model, the 2020 Mahindra Thar will be offered in soft-top and bolt-on hard-top versions, both with roll bar.
The overall appearance of the new Thar does have a strong resemblance to the much more premium, Jeep Wrangler.
The new-gen Mahindra Thar gets a major overhaul in terms of cabin design. The instrumentation continues to be analogue but gets a fresh design along with MID (multi-information display). It gets a touchscreen infotainment system that is compatible with USB, CarPlay and Android Auto, paired with roof-mounted speakers. The steering wheel comes with multi-function controls to access music and Bluetooth telephony.
The 2020 Mahindra Thar will feature an updated cabin design along with modern connectivity options
The cabin, done in an all-black shade, appears to be more spacious than the previous offering, sporting premium leather seats in the top-spec trims and fabric upholstery in the base variants. From the images, it can be seen that the rear section will offer decent space for two adults.Â Â The window switches have been positioned on the central area. The AC vents have been finished in piano black and are fixed on faux-carbon fibre section which has Thar etched on it. The AC temperature control and mode buttons on the central console seem to be waterproof. The other new bits are the gear lever, updated transfer case lever and the door pads with Thar branding.
The cabin of the new-gen Thar appears to be more spacious than the previous offering
The new Thar is expected to be powered by the BSVI-compliant version of the 2.2-litre diesel engine currently seen on the Mahindra Scorpio and the Mahindra XUV 500. This motor makes 140PS and 320 NM in the Scorpio, and similar numbers are expected here. This should be paired with a six-speed manual and an automatic. Also expected is a petrol engine option for the first time. This should be 2.0-litre turbo petrol from the mStallion range that debuted at the 2020 Auto Expo, making 190PS and 380 Nm.
We expect the prices of the 2020 Mahindra Thar to be around Rs 10 lakh, ex-showroom
Underpinning the 2020 Mahindra Thar is believed to be an updated ladder-frame chassis that, we believe, will make it more capable than the previous model.Â The suspension setup too has been updated from leaf-spring to a much modern multi-link with coil springs setup.Â While the features mentioned above are expected to up the comfort and convenience aspect, the Thar will retain its DNA of being a true-blue SUV with 4x4 drive train, transfer case, larger approach and departure angles and more.
Price and availability
We expect the prices of the 2020 Mahindra Thar to be around Rs 10 lakh, ex-showroom. In terms of competition, the only SUV to lock horns with the Thar is the Force Gurkha that is available inÂ 2.2L 4x4, 2.6L 4x4 and 4x2 variants priced between Rs. 9.99 lakh to Rs. 13.30 lakh. We expect Mahindra to officially commence bookings sometime by the end of this month and the deliveries can be expected to start from September onward.
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