The next-gen Mahindra Thar has been in development for some time now. Seeing the prototypes being tested on for almost a year, everyone expected to see a near production-ready example of one of the most popular off-roading SUVs in India to be unveiled at the AutoExpo 2020. Surprisingly, Mahindra decided against it, leaving a certain amount of mystery regarding the product. So this article will cover what we do know about the new Thar and what can we expect from it.
The new-gen Thar is set to be offered with a host of cosmetic and mechanical updates along with a set of new BS6 engines. Unlike the current generation, which is offered only with a diesel engine, it is likely that the new generation will be available with both petrol and diesel powertrains. The new Thar is expected to come with the updated version of 2.2 litre mHawk diesel engine with BS6 norms, which will also power the new generation Scorpio and XUV500. In addition to that, it will come with a new 2.0-litre mStallion turbo petrol engine which was one of the engines showcased by Mahindra at the Auto expo.
While the petrol engine is set to produce 190ps of power and 380 Nm of maximum torque, the 2.2-litre diesel unit is expected to produce way more power than the outgoing 2.5-litre unit. This time around, it is also likely to be offered with an optional automatic transmission with a 6 speed manual as standard and not to forget the 4×4 low (L) and high (H) function. We’ve been tipped that the new Thar also shares some axle and suspension components with the new-gen Scorpio. It will also come with an updated cabin featuring an all-black dashboard with new dials for the climate control system, new steering wheel, restyled central air-con vents, and even a touchscreen infotainment system, possibly with Android Auto and AppleCarplay connectivity.
The 2020 Thar is also expected to get a brand new instrument cluster with a MID (Multi-Information Display) unit and a new gear lever. It will also feature comfortable seats with improved side-bolstering and upholstery for the driver and co-driver. In terms of safety, the upcoming model will feature ABS with EBD, driver airbag, rear parking sensors and speed alert system as standard across variants. Also on offer will be dual-front airbags, cruise control, parking camera, and front seatbelt reminder.
While maintaining its Willys Jeep-inspired boxy design with classic round headlamps and tailgate-mounted spare wheel, it also adds a hint of the Jeep Wrangler to its design. The big change in the interior is expected with the rear seats now expected to be the more conventional front-facing rather than the side facing bench seats. Hence, evidently it is expected to be larger in dimension, although exact configurations are yet to be known. It is also likely to come with both the soft and hard roof options. From the leaked images of the test mule, it is likely to sport new alloy wheels.
Since the new Thar will be substantially more modern than the outgoing model, it’s expected to attract a premium of up to Rs 2 lakh over the current model, which is priced from Rs 9.59 lakh to Rs 9.99 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). Once launched, it will continue to rival the Force Gurkha, which will soon get a generation update and was unveiled at the AutoExpo 2020. Mahindra will launch the new-gen Thar in mid-2020.