Mahindra Roxor vs 1948 Willys CJ-2A – Who wins this tough off-road challenge [Video]

We have been pretty regular with reporting about the Mahindra Roxor, a Thar-based lifestyle vehicle that is squarely aimed at vehicles, such as the Polaris RZR in the US market. Many American off-road experts have tested the Roxor and are all praise for its ruggedness and off-roading capability. Jalopnik, however, recently pitted the Roxor against the legendary Willys CJ-2A to determine the better off-roader between these two.

Basically, the Mahindra Roxor is a modern-day incarnation of the Willys CJ-2A. In the above video, the road-tester took both the vehicles off the road and tested them through various obstacles. For the ‘Articulation’ test, both the vehicles were tested on a 20-degree ramp.

Ramp Travel Index is a common metric used to compare articulation. Essentially, it’s the distance a vehicle can travel up a ramp while keeping all tyres on the ground, divided by that vehicle’s wheelbase and multiplied by 1,000. The Mahindra could climb by 39 inches, which, when divided by the 96-inch wheelbase and multiplied by 1,000, gives you an RTI score of 406. On the other hand, the Willys could climb up by 56 inches, which, when divided by an 80-inch wheelbase and multiplied by 1000 gives you a score of 725. The Willys is a clear winner here.

To test the traction offered by both the vehicles, they were tested on slippery muck. Both the vehicles got stuck a number of times. Jalopnik noted that both the vehicles should have come with mud-terrain tyres to get through that slippery mess. None of the two performed particularly well in this part of the test.

Jalopnik notes that the Roxor’s 2.5-liter inline-four turbodiesel is a ‘true gem’. The motor outputs 62 hp and 144 lb-ft torque, which is 2 hp and 24 lb-ft more than what the CJ-2A offers. However, thanks to the extra torque, smaller tyres and the drive-by-wire setup, crawling up an obstacle was easier in the Roxor.

While the tester thought that no vehicle can beat his Willys on a downhill, the Roxor performed better. It was also noted that the Roxor should have a skid plate under its oil pan. However, Mahindra seems to be already working on protecting the oil pan. Also, the rest of the Roxor is fairly well protected – The rear-mounted fuel tank gets armour and there’s a skid plate for the transfer case.

In the final observations, the tester noted that these two vehicles are extremely closely matched. However, the Willys fared slightly better owing to its smaller dimensions and longer suspension travel. Also, the Willys CJ-2A used for this comparison came with aftermarket tyres, which helped it score better.

Video source – Jalopnik on Youtube