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  • New Mahindra Thar for Indian Market Channels Original Jeep Spirit

New Mahindra Thar for Indian Market Channels Original Jeep Spirit

Benson Kong ā€“
Jan 3, 2011
Though it is already available in Italy and South Africa, Mahindra has finally unveiled its new Thar off-roader in India, Mahindra & Mahindra's home market.
This Wrangler doppelganger mirrors the iconic Jeep for good reason. Mahindra built the original Willys-Overland of the mid-20th century under license, and, like our United States-spec model, the exterior appearance has long retained that unmistakable square look. The Thar that is going on sale is supposedly a more refined version of the Mahindra Jeep, though we doubt Thar buyers are searching for plush leather or tri-zone climate control.
Photo 2/6   |   Mahindra Thar Rock Crawling
The first Willys-Overland Jeep built in India by Mahindra came off the line on June 3, 1949. Since then, the Jeeps have served multiple purposes throughout the Asian nation (as a Mahindra-branded vehicle) and began to see export to the former Soviet state of Yugoslavia in 1969. As the decades carried on, the small SUV continued to play a big role, ferrying national heads of state and providing entertainment and transport to countless off-road enthusiasts outside the U.S.
Predictably, the Thar is an archetypal Jeep in many ways. It's short at 154.3 inches in length, possesses only two doors, uses a manual transmission with true four-wheel drive, and can ditch its removable top in rain or shine. Long-travel suspension (independent, torsion-bar front and leaf-sprung rear) protects against bottoming out and a generous 46-degree approach angle helps traverse many natural obstacles. Engine selections are between a 2.5-liter diesel and 2.5-liter gasser. And the looks appear to be mostly unchanged from before disco was even in fashion.
Photo 3/6   |   Mahindra Thar Wheel Articulation
The Thar model name is presumably shared with the Thar Desert present in the northwestern area of India. Prices range from 599,000 to 628,000 rupees ($13,300 to $14,000), depending on city of purchase. Mahindra also plans to offer a more frugal Thar in cheaper markets for 447,000 rupees ($9900). Now that the Thar is launched, maybe Mahindra can maybe turn its attention to bringing the vehicles it's been promising forever for the U.S. market.
Sources: Wall Street Journal, Mahindra

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