Mahindra Thar, the desert safari finally arrived

Mahindra and Mahindra are famous for their jeeps and off road vehicles. Their recent acquisition of Ssangyong Motors has all the more given them access to international range of SUVs. However what surprised us was their recent launch in India on December 21, 2010. It wasn’t an international SUV but their very own old school SUV, the Mahindra Thar. It would be available in two variants and these are dependent on where you reside. If you reside in the urban areas, you would get the Mahindra Thar CRDe 4×4 version or even the Mahindra Thar CRDe 4×2 version. For the rural public, their off-roading set of wheels would be the Mahindra Thar DI 4×2 and Mahindra Thar DI 4×4 variants. The reason for this has got to do more with the emission norms rather than positioning of the vehicles.

The Mahindra Thar vehicle takes its inspiration from its own range of vehicles namely the MM540/MM550. We do remember going on a safari in the Gir forests with the former and what fun it was. They are actually trend setters in their own category. They are quite reliable as well. The Mahindra Thar also wants to build up on its qualities and is thinking on attaining cult status as well. The Mahindra Thar has a short foot print at 5.25 meters of turning radius. Its departure angle is 30 degrees and its approach angle is 46 degrees. The seating capacity of this off-roader is 7 however the comfortability factor would have to be taken into count considering its an open top vehicle. It would most probably be used for all those filmi stunts wherein the goons are chasing the hero and he is running for his dear life. Jokes apart, it would be lapped up by the people who run desert safaris. The Mahindra Thar CRDe 4×4 version or the Mahindra Thar CRDe 4×2 version would appeal more to the urban hippies and hip hop crowd who would be looking for the cool quotient factor away from those crores that they spend on their set of wheels.

The Mahindra Thar DI 4×2 and the Mahindra Thar DI 4×4 use a 1.5 liter diesel engine producing 63 bhp@ 3200 rpm and 182 Nm of torque at 1540 rpm. Since it would be used more for the rural usage, it is tuned for BS3 emission norms whereas the Mahindra Thar CRDe 4×4 version and the Mahindra Thar CRDe 4×2 version are tuned for BS4 emission norms and make do with a 2.5 liter engine which produces 105 bhp @ 3600 rpm and a cool 252 Nm of torque from as low as 1700-2000 rpm. The former engine is available in the Mahindra Bolero whereas the latter is offered in both the Mahindra Xylo and the Mahindra Bolero as well. The latter would also be one of the most powerful engines offered in India for an open top SUV.

A novelty feature offered in the Mahindra Thar is the AC ducts, inner piping linings and also space for fitting in an AC. Unfortunately these would be after market stuff but wouldn’t void the warranty offered by the manufacturer. The soft top is also designed in such a way that it would be able to take in the load of the AC and wouldn’t allow air to pass through. The Mahindra Thar has been launched in the cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Mangalore, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Cochin. The rest of the country would have to wait till January 2011.

The icing on the cake is that you are getting a true blue off roader at Rs 4.47 lakh for the Mahindra Thar DI 4×2 version and Rs 5.99 lakh for the Mahindra Thar CRDe 4×4 version. All these are ex-Mumbai prices.


Displacement: I-4, CRDE, 2498cc
Max power: 105 bhp @ 3800 rpm
Max torque: 250 Nm @ 1800-2000 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed manual


Type: power assist with Rack and pinion
Turning radius: 5.25 m


Rear: leaf springs with Semi-elliptical coil
Front: stabilizer bars and independent with torsion

TYRES: P 235/70 R16, tubeless


Front: Ventilated Discs
Rear: self adjusting Drums


L/W/H (mm): 3930/1720/1940
Wheelbase: 2450 mm
Track (F/R): 1445/1346 mm
Approach/Departure Angle: 46 deg/30 deg

2 thoughts on “Mahindra Thar, the desert safari finally arrived

  1. That is an informative article but I would like to know the clientele that Mahindra would be catering to. For me this is not my type. I have social status and not would be caught dead in this car. But then I think that this would be my choice in Chambal valley. Seriously. Looks exacvtly like the Mahindra Classic. One of my friends had it and he had fitted those extra big tyres and they looked cool. But its ride was bone jarring and I am sure that he hasn’t gone out anywhere near an off-road. It was actually more of a hand me down car which his grandpa had and then passed onto him. I think it had a 1.5 liter engine. Not too sure but then it was a disaster as far as NVH was concerned. Lots of noise on the road and together with that automech exhaust, it roared on the roads.

  2. Oh boy”- this was my reaction when I saw the all new Mahindra Thar. I guess this jeep has been christened Thar from the Thar Desert. So, Mahindra Motors claim that this is an all new amazing desert safari jeep, lets wait watch what it delivers. Though the body as one can see seems that it is built keeping the cult status of the brand in mind. Good to know that this jeep is available in both the petrol as well as the diesel version. Both are capable of generating an enormous gust of power. The AC vents inside the jeep sound a bit ridiculous as this jeep is supposed to be open anyways. Right But like the extras. As soon as I heard the word Mahindra I knew they were definitely talking about some mean machine and I can proudly say that my judgment wasn’t wrong.

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