We saw the first spy photos of the next-generation Mahindra Thar (or perhaps just an updated version that meets new norms) a couple of days back. The new Thar was mostly covered but we could see clearly that the popular SUV was much wider and longer compared to the current Thar.
Mahindra Thar was launched in 2010 and since then the off-roader’s SUV has not received any substantial updates. Mahindra did launch a mid-life facelift of the Thar but that only offered a few more features. With the stricter upcoming safety norms, Mahindra has to rework on the Thar to ensure that it meets the safety standards and is legal for sale in India.
Even though the pictures showed very little, we have gathered all the available information from the spy pictures of the test car and CarToq’s artist Vipin Vathoopan has turned it into a speculative rendering of what the upcoming Thar may look like when it is launched. Unless Mahindra decides to go for a big change in the way the Thar looks – unlikely as fans love the current looks – we believe this is what the 2019/2020 Thar could look like.
The upcoming Thar would be an all-new product, which means it will get a new platform too. Mahindra will continue to use the ladder-frame modular chassis even with the upcoming Thar as it is much more suitable for the rugged Thar. From the pictures, the all-new Thar also looks much bigger than the current version and towers over the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga that is parked nearby. The next-generation Thar would become bigger in dimensions too. Not much has been said on the design of the second-generation Thar but Mahindra could involve the Pininfarina design house, which also helped in designing the latest from Mahindra, the Marazzo. However, be rest assured that the bulky and retro DNA of the current generation Thar would continue in the next-generation model too.
Mahindra Thar will continue to offer the straight line, boxy design as the current model. The way Mahindra Thar looks is one of the USPs of the vehicle. The iconic seven-slat grille with round headlamps will continue to be the identity of the all-new Thar. The current two-door soft-top model is also expected to be continued with the next-generation version. In fact, the version that was caught testing had a fabric canopy on it. However, Mahindra may also launch hardtop variants of the Thar to take on the Force Gurkha. It is quite possible that Mahindra has modified the current generation body of the Thar to use as a dummy body and to test the new mechanicals underneath.
The all-new Thar should also become much more comfortable than the current version and should get revamped interiors. We can expect Mahindra to offer a range of creature-comforts with the upcoming Thar including a touch-screen infotainment system. Other safety features like ABS+EBD and dual front airbags would be offered as standard according to the upcoming safety rules. The rear side facing seats can be altered to make them front facing too.
Mahindra is expected to continue to use the 2.2-litre mHawk diesel engine in the next-generation model. However, the engine would be tweaked and updated to become efficient and offer refinement. It should be noted that the stricter BS VI emission norms would be enforced in the Indian market from 2020 too. The updated 2.2-litre diesel engine would also become cleaner. While these are substantial updates, the price of the all-new Thar may also increase with the added new features.