The Mahindra Roxor is basically a mix of pre-1970s Jeeps except every part is brand new. It’s pretty close to being street legal right out of the box, and you’ll only need a few parts to take it all the way.
In fact, one of the only places a Roxor differs from a road-going Jeep is its drivetrain. The 2.5-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine and 5-speed manual transmission are of Mahindra’s own design and sourcing, but with 62 horsepower and 144 torques the Roxor’s powerplant is eerily similar to the sought-after Perkins diesel found in some Jeep CJs.
The Perkins mill was touted for achieving 30 miles per gallon, but good luck finding one: it’s thought that fewer than 2,000 were ever made. And honestly, you wouldn’t want to do that anyway.
The Alternative: Restoring a Vintage Jeep
Sure, you could scour Craigslist to find the next abysmal lump of what was once a Jeep rotting away on someone’s acreage. Prepare to pay over $5,000 for the privilege of excavating a decrepit husk from a thicket of thorn bushes, barbed wire, and animal feces. Take it home to find bolts so rusted your sockets and wrenches will hide themselves and wiring so tangled it’ll make headphone cords look like a phone charger.
When you start rebuilding the suspension in the garage, the job inevitably bleeds over to your wife’s side – “It’s okay honey, it’ll be done in a week.” What begins as a single box on the kitchen table soon becomes the latest warehouse for eBay and Amazon parts. After a month the house smells so thickly of PB Blaster and old fuel that your dinner starts tasting like it. One night your wife comes home and catches you in the bedroom with a fuel sending unit. “It was just a quick rebuild, I promise!” you plead, but the rusty torment has gone too far.
Single and penniless, you’re forced to sell the only thing you have left. You hand the Jeep’s keys to a teenager who plans to buy XD wheels and spray bed liner right over the rust. He assures you it will be “dope af” but it breaks down long before any of that happens. That old Jeep ends up parked in his parents’ backyard where the cycle starts all over again.
Don’t let a Jeep restoration ruin your life. Buy a Roxor instead.
I love a vintage car as much as the next gearhead. Hell, I daily drive a 1969 BMW. But by the time you build a classic Jeep to within a stone’s throw of the quality of a Mahindra Roxor you’ll be in it well over $20,000. That’s assuming you started with a decent donor, which is getting hard to find, and you’d still be short a turbodiesel engine and a 5-speed gearbox.
A fully-optioned Roxor maxes out around $18,000, and I have to say it’s hard to argue with all-new parts covered by a bumper-to-bumper warranty.
How Close is a Roxor to Being Street Legal?
Pretty darn close.
Because the Roxor won’t meet federal safety standards in the United States it’s sold through powersports dealerships as a UTV. But Mahindra knows we’ll find a way to make it street legal – that’s why you’ll see the following street legal parts on every Roxor on the showroom floor:
Other car-like details emerge upon closer inspection:
Full gauges and warning lights
Proper-height H4 headlights
15” or 16” DOT-rated tires
5x5.5 bolt pattern wheels (Jeep pattern)
Other parts only require a quick modification to be road ready. For example, open the tail lights and you’ll find dual-filament bulbs – one for running, one for brakes and blinkers. Except the wires for the brake and blinker circuit are missing. That signature sleight of hand might be Mahindra’s best quality.
What Parts Are Needed to Make a Roxor Street Legal?
Thanks to a long-standing license agreement and access to some original CJ-5 moldings, the Mahindra Roxor is essentially a brand-new old Jeep right down to the part numbers.
By that I mean you can literally take a Roxor’s half-shaft into your local auto parts store and cross-reference the Mahindra part number to one for a vintage Jeep. Same goes if you blow a bearing, bust a seal, crack a bushing, or want to re-gear your rear end - chances are you can find parts locally. No waiting on overseas shipping, no converting your dollars to rupees.
Each state is different, but at a minimum you’ll want to add the following parts to appease Johnny Law:
Brake light wiring
License plate lights
Optional but suggested items include:
A better horn
Legal: It is your responsibility to ensure your Roxor is adherent to all state and local laws regarding motor vehicles before operating it on public roads.
You Also Need a License Plate
That’s where Dirt Legal comes in.
Sure, you could get a Roxor titled by yourself. Get ready to spend hours poring over your state’s laws, laws which will often change without notice. Cross your fingers and hope all your paperwork is correct the first time, because if it isn’t, you will pay for it in fees and in time. After all that work, something could still go wrong. Not with us, though.
Dirt Legal carries a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If we fail to make your Mahindra Roxor street legal for any reason, you get your money back. No questions asked.
Cover image sourced from UTV Videos.