Mahindra’s new off-roader

Mahindra’s new off-roader is all set to chart a new terrain in the Indian automobile industry. The Thar will be launched in Delhi, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Mangalore and Jaipur by end December and the rest of India by January 2011.The deliveries shall begin from Feb 2011 onwards. The Thar is also available with a DI engine as a base variant. The Thar DI will be positioned as a lifestyle vehicle for the rural market with both 2 wheel and 4 wheel drive options. The BS III variant will be priced at Rs 4.47 lacs, ex showroom Jaipur.

Mahindra Thar CRDe 4×4 is powered by a 2.5 litre CRDe engine that generates 105 hp @ 3800 rpm and torque of 247 Nm at 1800 – 2000 rpm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed transmission, a 2 speed gear reduction (Ratios – High 1.0:1 and Low 2.48:1) and will feature Borg Warner manual shift for 4×4. It also features 16-inch wheels and is a 2-seater weighing in at 1,750 kg. The 16 inch tyres with the help of leaf springs at the rear and independent torsion bar suspension with stabilizer bars ensures good off-road performance.

Sources report that the Thar CRDe 4×4 version has air conditioning and power steering and will have two variants, a standard and a top end. The powerful CRDe engine delivers on power and fuel economy. The cabin can seat seven people, while two rear bench seats can be folded to create a massive luggage area. It is available in a BS IV variant with power steering as a standard fitment, giving it a comfortable drive. The customization options and accessorized vehicles are also available for booking.

The Thar has the typical MM540 look with ordinary door pads, bench like seats and minimal dashboard with speedometer, tachometer and fuel gauge. However, the new engine will hopefully be more refined and that is where the true off-roading fun will lie.

The Mahindra Thar was on display at the Auto Expo 2010 and reactions were mixed. For one, the model on show was a completely dressed up version with acres of plastic and dangly bits, not quite what one would expect on a hardcore jungle-bashing machine. But below all that makeup, it should be quite a competent offroader mechanically.

The DI variant will be manufactured at the Kandivali facility while the CRDe model will be manufactured at Nashik. There’s a souped up Thar from Mahindra customs on display. Mahindra Thar is available in four colors – Fiery Black, Toreador Red, Mist Silver and Rocky Beige.The Thar is very much a jeep with retro looks and modern technology though we need to spend some time with it to understand what that modern technology is capable of. A CRDI engine is certainly modern technology that comes with undeniable benefits, but how effective, we don’t know yet.

Mahindra’s new off-roader

Mahindra’s new off-roader

Mahindra Thar technical specifications

Engine            Euro IV 2498 cc, CRDe, turbodiesel
Power            105 bhp @ 3,800 rpm
Torque            247 Nm @ 1,800-2,000 rpm
Transmission        5-speed manual
4×4 Transfer case    Borg Warner – 2 ratio manual
(High: 1: 1, Low: 2.48:1),
Front auto locking hubs
Front axle        full floating 4.3:1
Rear axle        Semi floating 4.3:1
Suspension Front    Independent, torsion bar
Rear            Non-independent, leaf spring
Brakes    Front        Disks
Rear            Drum
Tyres            235/70 R16
Ground clearance    200 mm
Approach angles    Front: 46 deg, Rear: 30 deg, Ramp: 15 deg
Kerb weight        1,750 kg
Wheelbase        2,430 mm
Front track        1,445 mm
Rear track        1,346 mm
Length            1,710 mm
Width            2,430 mm
Height            1,930 mm

Mahindra’s new off-roader

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