The all-new, 2020 Mahindra Thar is in the works. A test mule of the next-generation off-roader was spotted testing with Tamil Nadu temporary registration plates by a 4X4India member Parikshit Mithran somewhere near Chennai. Notably, Chennai hosts Mahindra Research Valley – the automaker’s research and development operation that is also in-charge of new product development.
The spyshots reveal that the next-generation Mahindra Thar is likely to be much wider than the current version. The body seems a lot more wider while the track is quite narrow. Some commentators on 4X4India also feel that Mahindra could be using the next-generation Thar as a camouflage to test out the underpinnings of the all-new Scorpio. The all-new Scorpio is expected to follow the Thar into India sometime in 2021.
With the all-new Mahindra Thar expected to make its debut in 2020, it’s likely that the test mule in question is the Thar rather than the Scorpio – an SUV that will arrive later. Both the next-gen Thar and Scorpio will share the same platform, and a lot of mechanicals including the engine and transmission. As is the case with the current Thar, the next-generation version is expected to offer a 4X4 transfer case with a low range.
Other key aspects about the new Thar, as revealed by the spyshots, include independent coil spring suspension and the absence of leaf springs at the rear. What this means is Mahindra could go with a torsion beam suspension set up at the rear of the new Thar, greatly improving its ride quality. Another possibility is fully independent suspension at the rear, which will not only improve the ride quality of the Thar but also give it very good suspension articulation off the road.
More details on the new off-roader are expected to surface in the coming weeks now that full fledged testing has begun. For now, the wishlist for the new Thar is quite extensive. From a factory hard top to front facing seats and better ride quality, the new Thar needs to have massive changes to appeal to a new set of buyers. For now, we do know that airbags, reverse parking sensors and ABS will be the standard safety features on the new version due to the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program coming into effect soon.
The other key aspect about the new Thar will be compliance with Bharat Stage 6 emission norms, which will come into force from April 2020. Mahindra is expected to retire the 2.5 liter CRDe turbocharged diesel engine in favour of a smaller, 2 liter diesel engine. This all-new diesel engine will meet BS6 emission norms and will also be used in a slew of other Mahindra SUVs such as the new Scorpio and XUV500. While there is some talk about Mahindra using the 1.6 liter turbodiesel engine of the Marazzo on the new Thar, this is unlikely as a heavy off roader such as the Thar will need a lot of low end torque, and only bigger diesel engines offer this.