Next-Gen, 2020 Mahindra Thar to get a Petrol-Automatic option

It’s no secret that Mahindra is working on a new range of turbocharged petrol engines that will power most of its hot selling cars and SUVs. The next-generation, 2020 Mahindra Thar, which is just months away from launch next year, will get a turbocharged petrol engine, and CarDekho has even claimed to have spotted the Thar Petrol on test. The petrol powered Thar, according to the report, will be powered by the 2.2 liter-4 cylinder mHawk turbo petrol engine that was previously offered by Mahindra on the Scorpio and XUV500. On the Scorpio and XUV500, this engine made 140 Bhp-320 Nm.

2020 Thar Render Production

Poor demand led to Mahindra discontinuing this engine from both the XUV500 and Scorpio. On both SUVs, this engine was offered with a 6 speed AISIN sourced torque converter automatic gearbox. Both front wheel drive and all wheel drive (in case of the XUV500), and a four wheel drive layout in case of the Scorpio, were offered with this petrol engine-automatic gearbox combination. The same combination is expected to be offered on the 2020 Mahindra Thar, the report goes on to say.

We don’t quite agree…

Mahindra offering the 2.2 liter mHawk turbo petrol engine on the 2020 Thar is quite unlikely given the fact that this motor is based on the 2.2 liter diesel block – an engine platform that is on its way out thanks to the looming Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms. Slow revving and not very fuel efficient, the 2.2 liter turbo petrol engine has never been popular on both the Scorpio and XUV500, which is why it was discontinued in the first place. Our best guess is that Mahindra will offer the Thar with a newly developed, 2 liter-4 cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that will also find its way into the likes of the XUV500 and Scorpio. Remember, the 2020 Thar will share its platform with the next-generation Scorpio, which also means that it makes more sense for the newly developed, 2 liter BS6 turbo petrol engine to be offered on both vehicles rather than regressing to the older engine-gearbox combination on the 2020 Thar. In the car business, volumes mean everything and a mass market automaker like Mahindra will try to share parts and platforms across vehicle models.

But why petrol on a heavy off-roader?

Global ambitions. That’s right. Mahindra has global ambitions for the next-generation 2020 Thar, which will not just be sold in India but in key export markets such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Mahindra could also sell the 2020 Thar in other parts of Europe, where there are stringent emission norms. A turbocharged petrol engine (designed to meet emission norms) will be a lot cheaper than a diesel motor that needs lots of additional emission control equipment to meet norms such as Euro 6 and BS6. This is one big reason for Mahindra to offer both petrol and diesel engine options for the 2020 Thar in India, and possibly only the petrol engine in markets abroad. The head of Mahindra’s export business has already indicated that the 2020 Thar will meet global safety standards. Adding a petrol engine with an automatic gearbox just about completes the ‘lifestyle equation’.