The Mahindra Thar is one vehicle that has expected the hopes that everyone, including the manufacturer, had from it when it was first introduced in the country. Over the past few years, the Thar has managed to establish a cult following amongst Indian automotive enthusiasts. As of now, the Mahindra Thar is one of the most popular lifestyle vehicles available in the country.
However, owing to the upcoming safety and emission regulations, the future of this popular off-road + on-road vehicle was in doldrums. But Mahindra seems to have an answer as the company is working on a new-gen model of the Thar that is expected to be launched sometime next year.
Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming new Mahindra Thar 2019.
When will it be launched?
The new-gen Mahindra Thar is expected to be showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo in Greater Noida. It will thus be unveiled in February next year. However, we expect the official launch to take place at a later date, preferably around July 2019.
What all will be changed?
It is too early for Mahindra to reveal what will be new on the next generation Thar. However, some production ready test mules have been spotted with heavy camouflage. Though the camouflage makes it a bit difficult to understand what all sheet metal changes have been made, the Thar’s relatively band body panels help in negating the camouflage effect.
Closer observation of the spy shots of the new Mahindra Thar 2019 reveal that the updated model will be wider than the current version. As a result, we expect to see better cabin space as well as more prominent road presence. Also, the rear bench of the Mahindra Thar will come with front facing seats, thus making the SUV a lore more practical for urban commuters.
Another big update that will make the Thar relevant for a lot more buyers will be the option of a factory-fitted hard top. The current model comes just with a soft top on all variants. However, Mahindra noticed that a lot of buyers were opting for after-market hard tops. As a result, the new Thar will get an option of a hard top from the factory itself.
Any mechanical updates?
Under the hood, the new Thar will be available with two engine options – a diesel rated at close to 140 hp, and a petrol engine. This will be the first time that Mahindra will offer a petrol version of the Thar. It is worth noting that the upcoming BS-VI emission norms might make it difficult for large capacity diesel engines to be compliant. As a result, this petrol engine will be a significant addition to Thar’s portfolio. Mahindra will also be exporting the new Thar Petrol to international markets.
Some media reports also suggest that Mahindra is contemplating on adding an automatic transmission option to the new 2019 Thar later in its life. The Indian market has started showing significant inclination towards automatic gearbox options, and the manufacturer is trying to cash in on this new opportunity.