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  • 2020 Mahindra Roxor Facelift: Less CJ-7, More FJ40?

2020 Mahindra Roxor Facelift: Less CJ-7, More FJ40?

Design Creates Distance from Jeep Amid Ongoing Legal Troubles with Fiat Chrysler

Jan 29, 2020
Photo 2/23   |   2020 Mahindra Roxor Signal White 01

The 2020 Mahindra Roxor will get a slight cosmetic update, possibly a deliberate attempt to create stylistic distance between the off-highway side-by-side and Jeep's old CJ-7. For 2020, the Roxor does away with its cascading, "4 -slot" grille in favor of a rounded rectangle grille with a body-color surround. Forming an oval around the headlights, the new front fascia now looks a bit like that other prestigious off-roader, the Toyota Land Cruiser 40-Series.

2020 Mahindra Roxor Updates Inside and Out

Photo 3/23   |   2020 Mahindra Roxor Family 03

In addition to the new front fascia—which preserves a rounded grille and pronounced front fenders—the 2020 Mahindra Roxor also receives a few drivability upgrades and new optional equipment. A re-geared transmission and 5.38:1 rear axle ratio provide improved responses and smoother shifting. What's more, the Roxor is now available with a factory-installed lift kit, as well as optional Bilstein monotube shock absorbers.

Three new standard colors are available, viewable on the company's slick configurator tool that can build any variation of the Roxor's 450-plus color schemes. A box-steel frame, standard 2.5L turbodiesel I-4, and five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission carry over into 2020 unchanged, but they nevertheless make the Roxor a compelling alternative to conventional side-by-side UTVs. With a starting price of $16,599 and a towing capacity of nearly 3,500 pounds, it could be an ideal hunting rig or fun alternative to other sport side-by-sides.

Did Legal Troubles Force the Redesign?

The Mahindra Roxor has been under fire since before its introduction in the U.S. off-highway vehicle market. In 2018, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission on the basis that the Roxor infringed on the Jeep brand's trade dress. The complaint specifically cited the Roxor's flat, vertical body sides, exterior hood latches, trapezoidal fender flares, and a flat hood with quarter-round edges.
FCA also took issue with the Roxor's slotted grille, even though the two companies came to an agreement in 2009 that Mahindra could use the 4 -slot grille feature on the Scorpio, a small SUV that was supposed to come to the U.S. before its launch was cancelled in 2012. In 2019, the commission ruled that FCA wasn't barred from seeking damages based on that earlier agreement.
Photo 7/23   |   2020 Mahindra Roxor Family 02

In November, International Trade Commission Administrative Law Judge Cameron Elliot opined that the Roxor infringed on Jeep's trade dress. That wasn't an official ruling, however, and the trade commission will now review the case before confirming or rejecting Judge Elliot's point of view. If the commission upholds his conclusions, the 2020 Mahindra Roxor could be subject to a cease-and-desist order or a harsh exclusion, the latter of which would prohibit anyone from importing the little off-roader.

We hope it doesn't come to that, especially since the 2020 Mahindra Roxor represents a decent value in the off-road side-by-side market, and it's assembled right in Michigan, thereby creating jobs in the U.S.
Photo 8/23   |   2020 Mahindra Roxor Family 04
Photo 9/23   |   2020 Mahindra Roxor Family 05

Source: Mahindra, The Drive

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