The Mahindra Thar is noted for its unique stance and superior off-road ability. The Thar is one of the few automobiles in India that has a cult following. Isn’t the Thar, though, from 2010? Why does it have such a storied past? What did Thar do in ten years that no one else could? History, after all, has it all! Let’s delve a little deeper into Mahindra Thar history.
The first Mahindra Offroader was introduced in 1949
The first story in Mahindra Thar history: In 1949, Mahindra began manufacturing the Willys CJ3A jeep. This was the company’s first attempt at making an off-road vehicle. The CJ3A was a four-wheel-drive offroader launched for the Indian market. Within four years after it was purchased by Kaiser Motors, the CJ3A was improved into the CJ3B. Mitsubishi in Japan and Mahindra & Mahindra in India were granted licenses for this generation of CJ.
The CJ3B was powered by a 2.2-liter Hurricane petrol engine that produced 72hp and 154Nm of torque. The engine was linked to a 3-speed manual gearbox and a transfer case, which sent power to all four wheels or two wheels, depending on your preference.
The Iconic Silhouette of 1985
This is when Mahindra introduced the grandpa of the Thar we know today. As the business parted ways with the Jeep license, the MM540 was the first off-roader to be given a moniker that did not include the letters CJ. It was the first to have rounded fenders and a bonnet. The engine was a 2.1-liter Peugeot-sourced diesel engine. It was paired with a 4-speed manual transmission and a two-level transfer case.
The MM540 was updated to the MM550 in 1995 to meet the demands of the Indian army. It was the army’s workhorse. The offroader was powered by a 2.5-liter Peugeot diesel engine with 72 hp. It was paired with a 5-speed manual transmission. The Rakshak, an armored variant of the MM540, has been in the army’s fleet since 2000 and has been guarding India’s borders with the army.
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The Mahindra Classic: The Lifestyle Icon, 1996
The Jeep Classic was introduced by Mahindra in 1996. It was one of the company’s most successful jeeps in the market. The Classic debuted with a robust appearance, a strong engine, and ultimate offroading capability.
The CJ Series concludes in the year 2000
The Mahindra Major was the last model of Mahindra’s CJ series, which first appeared in 2000. It had a 5-speed transmission and a 2.7-liter diesel engine. A four-wheel-drive transfer case with a single lever was also provided. The majority of sales were made by vehicles without four-wheel drive, which was employed as people movers in Indian rural regions. It was also employed by Indian officers, particularly those from outlying locations.
The Legend of Mahindra (2006 model)
This SUV was created to mark India’s 60th anniversary of vehicle manufacture. The Legend was only available to those who were invited and was restricted to 60 copies.
A 2.5-liter direct injection diesel engine drove it. Because of its poor handling and low fuel efficiency, the Legend was not well received.
In 2010, the start of Mahindra Thar History
This vehicle carried on Mahindra’s tradition of 4X4 automobiles. It was introduced in 2010 to fill the void left by the major’s cancellation. The Thar quickly became one of the most well-known off-roaders on the market. The Maruti Suzuki Gypsy, one of the most popular 4X4s at the time, faced stiff competition.
Two diesel engines were offered for the SUV: a 2.6-liter and a 2.5-liter. Both engines produced over 63 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque.
The Thar was redesigned in 2015, giving it a more vintage appearance and leveraging Mahindra Thar history. The interiors were given a more luxurious appearance. The 2.5-liter CRDe engine, which is BS4 compliant and capable of producing 105hp and 247Nm of torque, also includes a Bob Warner transfer case. The Thar’s 44-degree approach angle and 27-degree departure angle are enough to make any Indian off-roader think twice about competing.
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The Mahindra Thar made available in 2020
This will bring the icon’s mark to an end, or rather, immortalize it by paying homage to Mahindra Thar history. The Mahindra Thar 700 will be constructed in 700 units to honor the legacy. The limited-edition Thar is powered by a 2.5-liter CRDe engine that delivers 105 horsepower and 247 Nm of peak torque.
The all-new 2020 Thar appears to be somewhat larger than its predecessor on the exterior, with a redesigned front grille that is bolder than before. Other exterior modifications include a revised front bumper and new LED taillights that suit the vehicle’s boxy look.
On the inside, Mahindra appears to be keeping the original cabin while adding some new amenities like a dual-tone dashboard, provision for a 2-Din music system, and multi-directional A/C vents.
The Thar has a long and illustrious history that will undoubtedly be continued. The next-generation Mahindra Thar was released in the middle of 2020 and will continue building the rich Mahindra Thar history.