The Mahindra Thar is a one of its kind vehicle in India that follows a long drawn lineage of hardcore workhorses that could tackle the off-road terrain like a boss. While many of you may not know this but Mahindra actually started off as a company by the name of Mahindra and Mohammed and was listed as a steel trading company. It was later renamed to Mahindra and Mahindra and the company got into the car industry only in 1949 with the introduction of the CJ3A utility vehicle. The video below takes you through a tour of all these 70 years showing the journey that started with the CJ3A and now rests on the Thar 700.
The Mahindra Thar today enjoys a good reputation among the off-road enthusiasts of the country, which is a result of all these decades worth of experience of building off-road focused vehicles Mahindra possesses. Things were not always the same though, as the company first started manufacturing vehicles in 1949 after it obtained a license from the US-based Jeep brand to build its design in India. Thus the CJ3A was launched as the first Mahindra vehicle, which was followed by the legendary CJ3B in 1953. The CJ3B was also used extensively by the Indian Army, a trend that continues to even this day as the Army kept upgrading its fleet as Mahindra launched new vehicles.
In 1985, Mahindra launched the MM540, which gave birth to the design DNA that is seen on the Thar. It featured rounder body panels and better interiors than its predecessors which made it popular among the common man too. The year 1995 saw the introduction of the MM550 which is considered by many to be the true predecessor of the Thar. Going by the popularity of its vehicles among the common citizens, Mahindra in 1996 launched the Classic which went on to become an icon of its own. The Classic featured a CJ3B inspired design but in a much more stylish package as it was offered as a lifestyle vehicle during those times.
The year 2000 brought saw the dawn of a new millennium along with the launch of the Major, which became a family man’s vehicle along with being an off-road beast. It was also the last vehicle to be based on the CJ platform as Mahindra moved on in 2006 with the launch of the legend. Then came 2010 which saw the launch if the Thar in India, a vehicle that has come of age now and has attained an iconic status in a short period of time.
Mahindra launched a facelifted version of the Thar in 2015 and recently launched the Thar 700, which is a limited edition model made to give the Thar lineup a final farewell. Mahindra is currently working on the next generation model of the Thar. The new Thar could be possibly unveiled at the 2020 Delhi Auto Expo and will feature a new platform, a new set of engines along with new and better interiors.