Mahindra’s Atom electric quadricycle was showcased at Auto Expo 2020 while the new-gen Thar still remains a prototype
Indian automotive enthusiasts have been eagerly waiting for the new 2020MY Mahindra Thar for almost three years. Over this period, the internet has received spy images and videos of the off-roader from several parts of India. The vehicle was spotted in hardtop, softtop and near-production formats lately. One can even say that it is the test mule which has received the most public attention in recent automotive history.
As India reaches mid-way into its fifth stage of COVID-19 lockdown protocols, major automakers have restarted operations in green and orange zones. Manufacturing plants, showrooms and services outlets currently operate in a safe and sanitised environment as part of the ‘new normals’. Besides resuming production, OEMs are continuing their development activities as well — such as prototype testing. In fact, a pair of 2020MY Thar test mules were spotted in Nashik, Maharashtra (near Mahindra & Mahindra’s plant) right after the government relaxed the lockdown in early-May.
Automotive enthusiast Arun Adithyan has spotted yet another test mule of the much-awaited second-generation Mahindra Thar. This time, it was spotted alongside a Mahindra Atom electric quadricycle prototype in Tamil Nadu.
If rumours are correct, Mahindra would most likely unveil the new Thar in full by the end of this year. On the other hand, the Indian automaker has already showcased its emission-free quadricycle offering at Auto Expo 2020 (held in early February). The 15th instalment of India’s biggest biennial automotive show served as a venue for Mahindra’s entire BS6 range. However, visitors were a bit disappointed due to the next-gen Thar’s absence.
There are multiple reasons why the Indian market is eagerly waiting for the vehicle. For starters, it would be a massive improvement over its BS4 predecessor in terms of styling, equipment and dynamics. It is based on an all-new platform, unlike the old model which shares most of its components with the Mahindra Scorpio. Engineers have taken key inputs from the brand’s offroad division, Mahindra Adventure in its development. Furthermore, Maruti Suzuki oddly sees no potential in launching the Jimny. The 2020MY Thar will be available in both petrol and diesel formats with options for an automatic transmission.
Coming to the Atom quadricycle, its power and top speed would be restricted to less than 20bhp and 70km/h, respectively as per the regulations for such a vehicle category. It will take on the Bajaj Qute electric (in development) while being an alternative to the existing petrol-powered Qute.