Next-generation Mahindra Thar off road SUV: Launch timeline revealed

Rajan Wadhera, the President of Mahindra’s Automotive Business, has revealed that the all-new, 2020 Mahindra Thar will make its debut in India during April 2020. It’s likely to be shown at the 2020 Indian Auto Expo, followed by the official launch in April. Tightening safety norms under the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP) regime means that Mahindra will have to discontinue multiple cars and one of these is the iconic off road SUV – the Thar. While the Mahindra Thar DI (the low cost farm and rural market oriented variant) has already been discontinued, the automaker has added ABS to the Thar CRDe, which will be on sale for a couple of months more. A brand new Thar is currently being tested by the automaker, in both hard-top and soft-top trims.

Next-generation Mahindra Thar off road SUV: Launch timeline revealed

Meanwhile, here’s exactly what Mr. Wadhera said during a recent analyst’s call,

The THAR vehicle also, since we are developing new THAR vehicle, and it will be available as a BS VI vehicle from April. The current THAR, which is on the CRD engine will — and our DI engine, disappears.

The 2020, all-new Mahindra Thar will be based on a new body-on-ladder platform that it will share with the next generation Scorpio and a range of other utility vehicles that the automaker plans to launch in India in the coming years. Apart from being sold in India, the new Mahindra Thar will also be sold in markets abroad as it will qualify safety and emission norms. Airbags, ABS, safety compliance for pedestrian norms, seat belt reminder, new dashboard design, reverse parking sensors and speed alerts will be the various safety features that the new Thar will have for compliance with BNVSAP.

The engine of the new SUV is likely to be a 2 liter-4 cylinder turbocharged unit equipped with a selective catalyst reduction (SCR) tank to reduce tail pipe emissions and comply with BS6 norms. This is a technology that has been around for many years in Euro 6 diesel cars in Europe and also many commercial vehicles. It’s likely to make diesel engines pricier but not by too much. Mahindra will offer a 6 speed manual gearbox with the Thar’s new engine. A 2 liter turbo petrol engine is also said be in the pipeline, along with an automatic gearbox.

The all-new Thar could also get more creature comforts than the outgoing model, and softer suspension for better on-road performance. It’ll continue to be positioned as a lifestyle offering, targeted at both young and old buyers. It remains to be seen if Mahindra continues to offer a lower priced, utilitarian version of the Thar to service rural and semi-urban market, as a replacement for the DI version.