Roxor Weekly 2/1: Surviving the Antarctic Winter

If you have a question in 2019, chances are someone on the Internet has already answered it. Maybe you want to restore a 1992 Murray riding lawn mower or a 1959 Gibson Les Paul guitar, or perhaps you’re dreaming of abandoning your current life entirely, converting an old utility van to a road-trip-ready tiny home, and hitting the open road. Whatever piques your curiosity, someone’s probably already been there with camera in hand, making all the mistakes you would otherwise have to make yourself. That allows us more time to dream up the next crazy idea, like driving to Alaska or putting tank tracks on our car.

Change was certainly in the air last week, when most of the United States was plunged into an Antarctic winter. Mahindra was busy making waves at one of the year’s biggest automotive expos, and Roxor owners across North America were out enjoying the frigid temps and massive snowfalls the only way they know how.

This is Roxor Weekly.

2019 NAIAS Walkthrough: Roxors in Detroit

If you couldn’t make it to the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit last week, YouTuber Ouzo Lou Garage is here to show you what you missed.

It’s the first time Mahindra has ever attended this prestigious event, and they showed up in force with a veritable fleet of Roxors in every color imaginable. Mahindra Automotive North America builds the Roxor less than an hour away in Auburn Hills, but it’s nonetheless a little surprising that Mahindra would bring a fleet of UTVs to an automotive event – especially considering their ongoing spat with Fiat Chrysler about the design of the Roxor.

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With that said, the Mahindra display at NAIAS was comprehensive. There were big screens showing Roxors being put through their paces at a test facility, the Roxbox Concept was on hand with its extended work bed and matching trailer, and there was a striking display in which a Roxor body was suspended over a bare chassis and drivetrain, showing off the turbodiesel engine and boxed steel frame.

Mahindra is planning to sell cars in North America starting in 2020, and speaking of that…

Mahindra Brought a Real Car to NAIAS, Too

Mahindra’s media team created this video showcasing the Roxor as an American-built alternative to the current off-roading hierarchy. The short film promotes the Roxor as “Engineered in Michigan, built in Michigan, creating jobs in Michigan,” and it reminds us that Mahindra is “the first automotive OEM to launch a manufacturing operation in SE Michigan in over 25 years.”

Michiganders seemed to support Mahindra’s efforts, with the likes of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, and Congresswoman Haley Stevens stopping by the Mahindra display for photo ops.

The highlight of Mahindra’s display at Detroit was the Mahindra Marazzo, a car which many are hailing as the most interesting vehicle at all of NAIAS. It’s not hard to see why: the Marazzo is a small, inexpensive, diesel, manual, body-on-frame van with a 4-star NCAP safety rating. It was jointly developed by Mahindra’s R&D department in India and Mahindra Automotive North America, making it the first we’ve seen of the new line of vehicles Mahindra intends to bring to North America in the coming years.

Cold Starting a Mahindra Roxor at -4° F

As you may know, it got extremely cold across most of the United States last week. Temperatures in my home state of Missouri dipped well below zero and wind chills exceeded -20° F across much of the state. Missourians don’t have super-insulated winter gear like the folks up north do, so naturally this latest cold snap caused schools to close, churches to cancel services, and panic and hysteria to ensue amongst the general public.

That didn’t stop the boys at Cowtown USA in Cuba, Missouri from going outside to cold start a Mahindra Roxor at -4° F. Lee and Rick braved the frigid Arctic weather to show us that a Roxor will start at subzero temperatures, and it does so with surprisingly minimal ado. No smoke, no stuttering, no fuss at all. That might shock anyone who’s used to small-displacement diesels like Volkswagens, which often require a block heater to start during harsh temperatures and usually puke tons of smoke when they do.

I couldn’t help but notice y’all did that with uncovered faces and hands. My mother would slap me silly for doing that! Somebody needs to knit you boys some mittens ASAP.

How Does the Roxor Handle Snow?

When preparing for any Arctic adventure, it’s critical to determine how well your vehicle drives in the snow. Gone are the days where you were forced to figure that out along the way, because pioneers like YouTuber MotoMac20 have already blazed that trail for the rest of us.

This video proves that a stock Roxor has no trouble navigating through several inches of snow, even in 4-high. It was only when the driver subjected their rig to snow in excess of a foot deep, submerging the leaf springs, hubs, and transfer case in the powdery wet stuff, that this Roxor finally succumbed to the harshness of the elements.

Commenting on the Roxor’s performance, MotoMac 20 said: “Not many vehicles would have made through this without tracks.” You mean tracks like these? 😊

Short of installing a full set of Mattracks, we’re confident that with a set of locking differentials (and perhaps more aggressive tires) this Roxor would have soldiered on until the snow was simply too deep to handle. And on that note…

When the Snow Gets Too Deep…

In this video, YouTuber and Roxor Weekly regular TlcBister finds out what happens when a Roxor encounters snow that’s deeper than most of its critical components. Spoiler alert: it gets stuck.

As it turns out, even having a mighty Spartan Locker at the rear won’t keep you from high-centering on a frozen shelf of hard-packed snow. This Roxor’s ground clearance is further reduced by the rather large plow mount at the front. To film this event, the driver appears to exit the Roxor while it’s still in gear – a level of confidence many strive for, yet few achieve.

Off camera, TlcBister dug his Roxor out by hand. But there’s another way to ensure you won’t get stuck in the snow.

… Plow Your Way Out

TlcBister is no stranger to plowing. When the white stuff falls, he’s ready with a massive snow plow mounted to the front of his Roxor.

As this video shows, the mighty Roxor has no trouble plowing in a variety of places – the driveway, the front yard, even on local backroads in the dead of night. Auxiliary lights and a full-cabin enclosure help make clearing snow a more enjoyable experience, and the Roxor’s beefy construction and switchable four-wheel drive laugh in the face of slick spots.

Mahindra Roxor vs. Muddy Trails

The Mahindra Roxor has been around for nearly a decade as the Indian-market Mahindra Thar. That means it was a tried-and-true off-roader well before arriving at North American powersports dealerships in 2018, and that means you can take a Roxor down your local fire roads and UTV trails without worrying whether you’ll make it through or not.

YouTuber Gerardo gonzalezzz recently put this notion to the test. His white Roxor was covered in its fair share of mud and dirt by the end of this video, having trudged through rock piles, mud pits, and a few small lakes during its latest off-road excursion. Gerardo encountered several other enthusiasts on his trek through the wilderness – lifted Toyotas, high-performance UTVs, and even a Dodge Ram – most of which probably wondered how much he spent restoring his Jeep.

Little do they know.

We can’t wait for these tank tracks to go on sale! Courtesy of @ roxoroffroad

We can’t wait for these tank tracks to go on sale! Courtesy of @roxoroffroad

Street Legal Conversions

That concludes another Roxor Weekly, brought to you by Dirt Legal.

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Cover image courtesy of @on_the_rox_fab