The Mahindra Thar is now a cult in India, a standard fixture in the country’s off road scene. While the vehicle has been around for about 7 years, its iconic Jeep-derived design is timeless. It’s this design that attracts people to the off roader but all that could change as the Indian automaker has just announced a brand new Thar for India. Here are 5 ways the next-gen Thar may look like.
A completely new design
Jeep now operates in India and sells the iconic Wrangler here. This means that Mahindra can’t get away with building a Wrangler lookalike. Then you have the issue of the new off roader having to meet Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP) regulations of having crumple zones, ABS and airbags. This calls for a complete redesign of the vehicle from ground up.
This render from IndianAutosBlog presents the next-gen Thar in a completely new avatar. From a removable hard top to design cues that have Mahindra written all over, the next-gen Thar looks modern and butch. Both petrol and diesel engine options are likely. Mahindra has indicated that it intends to produce an off-roader even for the US market. The next-gen Thar may be designed to suit both domestic and export markets.
If Mahindra wants to retain the old school character of the Thar with some modern advancements such as crumple zones and other safety equipment integrated into the design, something like this may go down well with both current Thar-enthusiasts as well as new buyers. This render, which surfaced onto the interweb a few months ago, shows a Thar that looks inspired by the Toyota FJ40. The styling of this one has the right mix of retro and modern cues.
5-door ‘Everyday’ Thar
Globally, the Jeep Wrangler 5 door outsells its 3 door version 4:1. The Thar in its current form has been derided by many as a weekend toy, not fit for everyday family duty. A 5 door Thar could sort out these issues and make it much more practical for everyday use, so much so that it could become the only car one needs to own for both work and pleasure. This is a direction Mahindra could take as it dramatically widens the Thar’s prospective audience. Given the completely new design that’s coming in and the investment it entails, this strategy makes much sense.
Inspired by the Thar Daybreak
Mahindra’s in-house customization department has put together the Thar Daybreak and Thar Armageddon – soft-top and hard-top versions respectively, of the iconic off roader. Some design cues from these vehicles could be adapted to the next-gen model.
Mahindra Thar-based pick up truck
The Isuzu D-Max V-Cross has single-handedly made lifestyle pick up trucks popular in India. With Mahindra looking at significant development costs for the next-gen Thar in order to make it globally appealing, and safe, more variants mean more chances of success. That’s how a lifestyle pick up truck fits into the overall scheme of things, and putting the Thar brand on it could have good rub-off too. So, that’s one more form in which we could see the next-gen Thar in.