Mahindra and Mahindra has unveiled the second generation of the Mahindra Thar in India. The 2020 Thar has been completely redesigned from the ground-up and is now meant to appeal to an even wider section of buyers. The new Thar will launch in India on 2 October, bookings will start after prices are announced.
Mahindra Thar Styling
The new Thar continues with its Jeep-inspired design theme and two-door body style, although it now sits on a derivative of the Mahindra Gen 3 platform. This is what underpins the Scorpio, but for the Thar it has been widened for more interior space and off-road capability.
The simple retro-themed body panels remain, although Mahindra has raised the bonnet line in keeping with latest pedestrian safety norms and the doors are now removable. The Thar comes with LED DRLs and taillamps, dual-tone bumpers and three roof options. These are a hard-top, a soft-top and, for the first time, a removable hardtop. Another highlight is the 255/65 R18 tyres shod around alloy wheels. There are six colour options on offer.
Mahindra Thar Engines
For the first time, Mahindra is offering the Thar with a petrol engine. This is the 2.0-litre mStallion direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine that debuted first at the Auto Expo. In the Thar, this all-aluminium engine makes 150PS at 5000 rpm and 320 Nm between 1500 to 3000 rpm when mated to the also-new automatic transmission. This all-aluminium DOHC engine features a fully variable displacement oil pump, DLC coated piston pin and an exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head for improved efficiency and performance.
The diesel engine is a reworked version of the 2.2-litre mHawk four-cylinder turbo unit that is also seen on the XUV500. Improvements in the switch to BSVI regulations have made the motor more driveable now, claims Mahindra. The motor puts out 130PS at 3750 rpm and 300 Nm of torque between 1600 to 2800 rpm, but Mahindra says that 95 per cent of the engine’s torque will be available from 1,250 rpm. This motor uses an aluminium crankcase and a variable geometry turbocharger. Emissions control is via selective catalyst reduction (SCR) and diesel particulate filter (DPF).
Another significant new addition to widen the Thar’s appeal is a six-speed torque convertor automatic sourced from Aisin. This unit is mounted longitudinally and pairs with both, the petrol as well as the diesel. Alongside, the six-speed manual from the Scorpio is also available. The automatic option is limited to the lifestyle-focused LX series while the hardy AX gets the manual.
Mahindra Thar chassis and off-road equipment
The Thar continues with its body-on-frame construction, but now uses a derivative of the Scorpio’s underpinnings. This stiffer chassis sits on independent double-wishbone front suspension with stabilizer bar and multilink coil spring rear suspension. There has been no let-up in off-road capability with this new set up. The Thar continues with a serious four-wheel-drive system. This system features a transfer case which spits the torque 50:50 between the two axles. There is mechanical shift-on-the-fly capability via a dedicate 4Wd knob beside the gear shifter. Mahindra says that the low-ratio 4WD mode can multiply torque 2.48 times. The Thar has an impressive 42:1 crawl ratio, irrespective of the drivetrain.
Other off-roading equipment includes a mechanical locking rear differential and brake locking differentials on the front and rear axles. These electronically mimic the action of a mechanical diff by automatically braking the free-spinning wheel. To improve efficiency when not in the rough stuff, the front axle disconnects from the 4WD system when in two-wheel-drive mode.
In terms of how agile the Thar is off-road, Mahindra says that the unladen ground clearance is 226mm when specified with the optional 18-inch tyres. These 255/65 R18 tyres have a 798mm diameter. Standard tyre size on steel rims is 245/75 R16. The Thar has an impressive 41.8? approach angle, 36.8? Departure Angle And 27? break over angle when specified with the larger tyres. Maximum water wading depth is 650 mm, thanks to components like the ECU being placed above the wading line.
Mahindra Thar interiors
In keeping with its retro-themed exterior look, Mahindra has given the interiors an old-school look as well. This is seen in the simple geometric shapes used all around the cabin. The all-black cabin is waterproof IP 54 dust and water ingress protected switches for the audio and cruise control switches on the steering wheel, the infotainment system and the power windows. In keeping with this, there a drain plugs on the floor with washable floor mats. The Thar comes with front-facing seats for the first time as well. The seats are washable too and feature heavy bolstering to keep occupants in place while off-roading. The front seats get lumbar support while the rear gets a split-fold function.
The seven-inch infotainment screen gets Android Auto/Apple Carplay connectivity. There voice control, dual USB ports, Bluetooth and navigation. There is a six-speaker system paired to this, with four roof-mounted speakers. The Thar features a trick Adventure Statistics Display. This shows real-time off-roading information on the screen such as gear position, engine speed, 4WD Mode, roll and pitch Angles, power, torque, compass heading and G-meter. Also inbuilt is a calendar with all upcoming Mahindra Adventure events. Finally, there is a new colour 3.5 MID in the instrument cluster.
Mahindra Thar safety
The new Thar’s safety proposition is significantly improved as well. An internal roll cage is available along with three-point seat belts and dual locks on the hardtop and convertible variants. Other safety features are dual airbags, ESP with vehicle dynamics control and rollover mitigation, hill-hold and hill descent control, ISOFIX child seat mount and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
Prices of the 2020 Mahindra Thar are expected to be between Rs 12 to 16 lakh, ex-showroom.