Mahindra and Mahindra has been busy developing the next-generation Thar. The next-gen Thar will be based on an all-new platform that will help it comply with the upcoming stricter crash norms in India. It will also enable M&M to sell the SUV in markets like that of Australia, where the already strict safety norms have restrained Mahindra from launching the Thar.
Mahindra’s international operations chief, Arvind Mathew has said,”The one that is out there (present Thar/Roxor) does not meet Australian regs for the crash, but the next generation will.” It’s said that the new platform will be developed in cooperation with Ssangyong. It will make the next-gen Mahindra Thar slightly longer than its current version. The launch of the new generation Mahindra Thar can happen in 6 months to 1 year ahead of the April 2020 target to regularize the crash-testing norms in India.
The new platform for the Thar will also underpin the future products from the company. However, the Thar will become the first model to be based on the new platform. The new architecture will also help the Thar adopt petrol and electric powertrains as and when required. The current-generation Mahindra Thar is based on the Jeep CJ5 platform that came into existence back in the 1960s. The Thar received a facelift in 2015, which brought in a set of new bumpers, wheel-arch cladding, and slightly updated interior.
The next-gen Thar will have safety features like ABS and airbags, which are two important safety features that have been missing from the current version. Also, the new Thar is expected to be more refined during on-road usage, which is another area where the current version has been lacking. The new platform for the next generation Mahindra Thar will also underpin the new-gen Mahindra Scorpio. Both the vehicles will likely share more than just the platform. The two will also share bits like the switchgear, steering wheel, gear knob, etc. Details on the next-gen Thar’s design aren’t known at the moment but the upcoming SUV will probably retain its iconic Jeep CJ5-inspired looks. Here are as many as five renderings that show what the next-gen Thar may look like.
An all-new design
With the iconic Jeep Wrangler already on sale in the country, Mahindra can no more afford to come up with a Wrangler-lookalike. Also, Mahindra can’t retain much of the original design due to the upcoming stricter crash safety norms. Hence, in all probability, the company would have to come up with an all-new design. Seen above is a render of a Thar that has an all-new design but still manages to capture the essence of the current model. The render from IndianAutosBlog imagines a Thar with a butch looking exterior design that’s not only macho but also modern. The render shows bits like a removable hard-top, LED DRLs, faux skid plate, and an overall design that’s light years ahead of the current Thar.
While the first render here shows the Thar with a completely modern design, Mahindra might still want to retain at least some of the original design. Hence, here’s a render that shows a more modern Thar that seems to have an evolved version of the current Thar’s design. A design like this is likely to appeal to both the current fanbase and to those looking for something more modern than what the current Thar offers. The front fascia of the Thar shown in this render seems to have taken inspiration from a Toyota FJ40.
5-door ‘Everyday’ Thar
The modern-day Jeep Wrangler is available in both 3-door and 5-door versions. Out of this, the latter is many times more popular. Taking a hint from here, Mahindra might actually come up with a 5-door Thar that can become a cheaper alternative to the 5-door Wrangler. A 5-door layout will make the Thar a lot more practical for regular use. Mahindra might end up taking the 5-door route for its next-generation Thar to make sure the Thar can be used as a family car.
Inspired by the Thar Daybreak
Most of you would remember the Thar Daybreak Edition that was put on a show at an earlier Auto Expo. The Thar you see above is actually a result of Mahindra taking design cues from the Daybreak and the Armageddon editions for an all-new custom vehicle. The company might do a similar exercise for designing the next-gen Thar.
Mahindra Thar-based pickup truck
Who knows, the next-gen Thar might even spawn a pick-up version to challenge the likes of Isuzu D-max V-Cross. Here’s a rendering that shows a new Thar-based pick-up that might have a high appeal in several markets across the globe. While the company is yet to offer any sort of hint on the design of the next-gen Thar, a pickup variant of the Thar actually makes a lot of sense.