Mahindra has already started road-testing the next generation Thar which is scheduled for a launch sometime in Q1 2020. Till recently, the current Thar was sold in two variants, Thar CRDe – the one which appealed to Urban users and off-roading enthusiasts and the Thar DI – the one which was meant for semi-urban/rural customers who were looking forward to a new-age Jeep (a replacement to the MM 450) to ferry people around.
Due to the upcoming safety norms, Mahindra has stopped the production of the Thar DI. This would mean that only the 2.5-litre CRDe engine equipped Thar will be on sale for the next few months. However, even this will get replaced by the next-gen Thar later in 2020, which will come powered by a new 2 litre diesel engine.
The Thar DI was relatively cheaper than the CRDe variant but it did miss out on basic safety gear like ABS, EBD and airbags. It was sold in both 4WD and 2WD variants and was popular in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities/towns.
The Thar CRDe, which will continue to be on sale in the foreseeable future is powered by a 2.5 litre turbocharged CRDe engine which dishes out 105PS and 247Nm of max torque. It also comes along with a 4WD system as standard.
The next generation Thar is currently being readied up by Mahindra. Launch is expected to take place in the 2020 Auto Expo, however, there is no official confirmation at the moment. The SUV will retain its off-roading characteristics but will get equipped with better safety features and pack-in more creature comfort features as well. The 2020 Thar will not only meet the upcoming safety norms but will also comply by BS-VI emission norms, right from its launch.
In the meanwhile, Mahindra has confirmed that it will be releasing a signature edition of the Thar, named Thar 700. As the name suggests, the production run will be limited to 700 units only and will work out as a sales driver ahead of the launch of the 2020 Thar.
With the elimination of the Thar DI variant, the entry-level pricing of the Thar will go up. As earlier, Thar will face competition majorly from its sole competitor, the Force Gurkha.