Mahindra’s new rival to the Suzuki Jimny and, in some ways, Jeep Wrangler is arriving here next year.

Will this be the next cult-classic off-roader like the Suzuki Jimny to hit Australian roads?

Mahindra and Mahindra unveiled its new Thar in India this weekend but that’s not the only place it will go on sale, with Mahindra Australia confirming it will go on sale here next year.

The second-generation Thar will be launched locally in the first half of next year. Comprehensively reconstructed though still looking familiar as a ‘mini Jeep’, the new Mahindra Thar also brings more powerful petrol and diesel engines with both manual and automatic transmission options.

The car is immensely popular in the sub-continent and could very well have a big impact in Australia if local pricing and specs give us a solid off-roader.

Underneath the bonnet is the choice of a ‘mStallion’ 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 112kW and 320Nm, or the ‘mHawk’ 2.2-litre diesel developing 97kW and 300Nm, with both mated to either a six-speed manual or torque converter automatic.

Not tremendous outputs but keep in mind it is a light-weight off-roader, like the Jimny.

Sitting on a ladder-frame chassis, the new Thar has a four-wheel drive system as standard, with four-high and four-low, the latter at multiplying torque 2.48:1. Also standard is front-axle disconnect, differential on both ends via brakes, and a mechanical rear locking differential.

Off-roading angles are a 41.8-degree approach, 36.8-degree departure and 27-degree breakover. When equipped with  18-inch wheels the ground clearance is 226mm and 650mm wading depth, and the suspension’s dampers and springs have all been newly designed over the double-wishbone front and multi-link rear end.

Outside, the exterior is designed with a new grille, LED round headlamps and DRLs, new fog lamps and new taillights over the first-gen model.

Inside is a choice of fabric or vinyl interior materials, height-adjustable driver’s seat, 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, driver’s display with LCD display, multi-function steering wheel with controls for voice, audio and cruise functions, and roof-mounted speakers.

The sub-par safety of the first-gen model has been improved and likely to suit markets with more stringent safety standards such as Australia. Indian models have only dual airbags and basic electronic safety aids, but Austrlaian-delivered models should see bolstered safety inclusions. On the list of standard features are tyre direction monitoring, electronic stability, hill hold assist, and hill descent control.

For India buyers, the Mahindra Thar comes in two trims – AX and LX. Thar AX is soft top or hard top and with six seats. The LX series, is also soft or hard top, but seating for four only.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.


    1. Having driven this engine in a Mahindra PikUp with a 6 speed manual you will find its a delight to drive, way more performance than the numbers suggest on paper.

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