After having made a grand premiere, the second-gen Mahindra Thar will be launched on October 2, 2020
The wait was immense but the all-new Mahindra Thar is finally here. Compliant to BS6 emission norms and sitting on an all-new platform, the new Thar is a total revamp over its BS4 counterpart and most likely the most awaited launch in recent Indian automotive history. We have shared multiple spy images and videos of the vehicle over a span of almost three years, with each post revealing some new and interesting detail.
Needless to say, the buildup was definitely worth it. We get to know the second-gen Mahindra Thar’s variant-wise pricing and related details only on October 2nd or 75th Mahindra Founder’s Day. Deliveries are expected to begin on the same day since dealerships have gradually started receiving fresh 2020MY Thar units.
The new Mahindra Thar may not impress everyone with its styling (especially the front bumper and grille situation). However, the Indian automaker’s latest offering sets a high benchmark among affordable offroaders at a time when our market is becoming saturated with FWD compact crossovers and raised hatchbacks marketed as capable SUVs. Let us see what the engineers and designers at Mahindra & Mahindra managed to do in the ‘All-New THAR’:
Impressive engine lineup
Mahindra has introduced two new BS6-compliant power plants with the second-gen Thar: 2.0-litre mStallion 150 turbo petrol and 2.2-litre mHawk 130 diesel. The DOHC GDi petrol engine churns out roughly 150bhp @ 5,000rpm and 320Nm @ 1,500-3,000rpm. On the other hand, the CRDI VGT diesel mill is good for about 130bhp @ 3,750rpm and 300Nm @ 1,600-2,800rpm. It can deliver 95% of peak torque from as low as 1,250rpm for supreme offroad performance. Yet the fact that the petrol motor generates more torque at 100rpms lower is arguably more impressive.
Automatic & manual options
Both engines are available mated to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed TC automatic transmission. The AISIN torque converter is tuned to provide an optimal balance between city and rough driving conditions, with “superior torque multiplication and inherent crawl functionality”. Dubbed 6R320, the 6-speed manual gearbox (5th & 6th are overdrive) is borrowed from the Mahindra Scorpio BS6.
Enhanced offroading equipment
The new Mahindra Thar’s 4×4 or four-wheel-drive powertrain features ‘shift-on-fly’, accessible via a dedicated lever on the centre console. It offers three modes: 4Low, 4High and 2High. 4Low multiplies torque by 2.48 times that of 4High. Both petrol and diesel variants boast of a crawl-ratio of 42:1. The front axle can be electromechanically disconnected to make the three-door compact SUV (the proper kind) a RWD with better highway performance and fuel economy.
In addition to a conventional rear MLD (Mechanical Locking Differential), the new Thar is equipped with BLD (Brake Locking Differential; similar to ‘torque vectoring by braking’) on each axle. It essentially mimics the function of MLD and as a result, Mahindra promises that the BS6 Thar will be able to pull itself out of most challenging terrains with just a single wheel in traction. Altogether, the 2020MY Mahindra Thar BS6 supplies 33% higher traction alongside being a step ahead on “low-speed rock crawling, high-speed desert galloping and other extreme adventures”.
The traditional body-on-frame or ladder-frame chassis, in its third generation, has become lighter and stiffer thanks to modern manufacturing technology and advanced material usage. It is supported by an independent double-wishbone front suspension and a multilink coil spring setup at the rear (had composite leaf springs before). In other words, the all-new Thar returns a composed or bounce-free ride on normal roads like most other modern-day Mahindra products.
As standard, it rides on 245/75R16 tyres (compatible with snow chains) shod on painted steel rims. Higher trims get optional 255/65R18 tyres (largest for an Indian-made SUV) wrapped on five-spoke alloy wheels. With the 18-inchers installed, the new Thar commands an unparalleled ground clearance of 226mm. Furthermore, the setup allows for 41.8-degree approach, 27-degree breakover and 36.8-degree departure angles. To top it all, the four-seater offroader has an unmatchable water fording depth of 650mm.
Other welcome additions
Unlike its predecessor, the new-gen Thar seems to be a complete package in stock avatar. Adding to the list discussed above, the offroader features:
- Three roof configurations (composite hardtop, convertible softtop and fixed softtop)
- Removable doors
- Adventure Statistics with social media linking (displays roll & pitch angles, compass, G-meter, output characteristics, etc.)
- 4×4 power-flow display in the instrument console
- Adventure Connect (event calender from Mahindra Adventure)
- IP54 dust- and water-resistant buttons and controls
- Roof-mounted speakers
- Washable interiors
- Integrated roll cage
- Practical forward-facing rear seats
- ESP, HHA, HDC & TPMS