Mahindra is one of the few automakers in India with a sense of humour. How else do you explain this?
Refreshing, isn’t it, especially considering how large automakers are hell bent on being politically correct, er humourless, all the time. Moving on, someone at Mahindra who approves Facebook copy surely knows that the automaker has really messed up the front end of what is otherwise a lovely looking off roader. That ugly bumper extension is the root of the mess. So, why is the facelifted Mahindra Thar wearing a mini skirt? We’ll tell you.
The Central Motor Vehicle Regulations (CMVR) now mandate that all new passenger vehicles must have improved pedestrian safety, and that there must be no space between the front bumper and the body. Metal bumpers crunching into a pedestrian’s knee at even 10 Kph doesn’t make for a pretty picture, does it?
This prompted the designers at Mahindra to stick that ugly plastic contraption onto to the front end of the Mahindra Thar, in the process killing the timelessness of the classic CJ7 design. They could have come up with a new plastic bumper, but no, why take the pain for a low volume vehicle anyway, seems to be the thought process behind this hack.
Now, looking at the glass half full, the plastic bumper extensions can be ripped off once the Thar is registered. Now, that isn’t a pedestrian friendly suggestion for sure. You’ve been warned. Mahindra also sells an all-metal bumper as an accessory. You can bolt that on and watch pedestrians as well as other pesky traffic on the street keep a safe distance from your Thar.
The other jarring bit in the new Thar’s design has to do with the fender extensions. They simply extend too much outside the body, and makes the stock Thar look a little underwhelming. But they’re there for good reason. Most Thar owners drive straight to their friendly tyre shops, and get the stock tyres exchanged for meatier units. This is precisely where the wider fender extensions come into play.
In the older Thar, adding wider wheels and negative offset alloys meant that even a small puddle was enough to get the sides of the off roader nicely plastered with all the muck the road had to offer. With the wider extensions, the Thr will no longer go splashing water at all and sundry. Now, that’s one more pedestrian friendly design bit right there. Now, here’s another warning. If you go too big on your tyre upgrade, you risk losing suspension warranty.
These jarring bits apart, Mahindra has done justice to the new Thar, especially at the price it’s being sold at. 8.03 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Nashik, means that the new Thar is pricier than the outgoing version by half a lakh rupees. For this kind of money, you get the Eaton mLocker mechanical differential lock (25,000 rupees), plus the wider fender extensions (12,000 rupees), better interiors with a lockable glove box, 12V socket, cup holders, a center console, provision for a 2DIN stereo and better seats. Now, that’s a fair deal. Sadly, the tasty looking alloys are still not standard.