The Covid-19 pandemic has proved to be a big dampener for everybody, especially for auto manufacturers who had big launches lined up. The much-awaited next generation of the Mahindra Thar is one of them. It is easily one of the most popular SUVs not only in the company’s portfolio but also in the country and Mahindra is scheduled to add the next-generation model to the range this year. The test mule of the car has been spotted several times on Indian roads in the last few months.
Mahindra will most likely launch the 2020 Thar SUV by August this year. A first image of the new-gen SUV – covered with what looks like white plastic usually applied to a newly built vehicle before being dispatched to dealer yards – has surfaced online. From the looks of it, it can be guessed that it is the final production model. Chances are that the all-new Thar will soon make a spy debut completely undisguised as the launch inches near. The SUV was earlier rumoured to be launched somewhere around June, but the ongoing pandemic obviously made its presence felt.
Wearing camouflage, the second-gen Thar has been seen testing on the road for more than a year now; multiple test mules have been seen with different types of cladding and they even feature a hard-top. While the final design is yet to be seen, overall, the next-gen model sticks to its roots.
The images spied are that of the hard-top variant of the SUV, but we do know that a soft-top version is also on the way. With the generation change, Thar will grow into a more aggressive and butch looking SUV. It will use an evolutionary design with the similar front round headlamps, wide and flat bonnet, brick-shaped tail lights. The boxy silhouette is said to be retained and would be even more prominent now. It still remains a 3-door SUV, against the conceived notion that it might get a conventional 5-door layout.
Engine And Features
In terms of mechanicals, it will continue to derive its power from the tried and tested 2.2-litre mHawk turbo diesel engine, which has been made BS6 compliant. This powertrain produces around 140 bhp. In addition to this, it is also said to be offered with a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol mStallion engine which generates around 170 bhp of power. This is one of the three turbo-petrol mills which were showcased at the AutoExpo 2020. Both engines are expected to come with a six-speed manual gearbox.
As far as features are concerned, the new Thar gets black-painted 18-inch alloy wheels, as seen in the picture; LED daytime running lights are also likely to be offered. Inside the cabin as well, we can expect major changes. It will use a different layout for the dashboard, touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a multi-info display in the instrument cluster, a manual AC, power-folding wing mirrors, multiple USB ports, new steering, seats, and a reposition 4×4 lever.
However, the biggest update will be seen in the form of front-facing rear seats. This set-up will carve out more space and safety for the passengers at the back. In terms of safety, the new Thar will get two airbags and ABS as standard across variants and additionally a rear parking camera for the top trim. With no word on the price yet, Mahindra is expected to price the next-gen Thar starting around Rs 10.00 lakh(ex-showroom), this means a premium of Rs 1 lakh over the current generation.