The Mahindra Thar Is Getting a Redesign. Could the Roxor Be Next?

Mahindra wastes no time releasing new features and vehicles.

In the past decade they sent into the market some next-generation vehicles. These include the Scorpio, the Mahindra XUV500 plus the Thar. Now that the 2020 Mahindra Thar has been testing, we can finally get a glimpse of some of these developments.

With all the updates and changes, there’s been some speculation that these features might roll over into the Roxor models for us in the United States.

Before we look deeper at the new 2020 Mahindra Thar, let’s speculate about whether this will affect the Roxor in any way with an except from our latest Roxor recap article, Roxor Summer.

Could Mahindra Be About to Revamp the Roxor?

This is an excerpt from the recent Roxor Summer: The Best Roxor Videos and News of Summer 2019 article by Justin Dake.

The Mahindra Roxor had already been around for nearly a decade in its home country of India before launching in North America in 2018. There, it’s called the Mahindra Thar.

And unless you’re Nissan, a decade of making the exact same model means it’s high time to start making some changes.

The Thar sports roughly the same body and drivetrain as the Roxor, complemented by a stunning interior and all the street legal touches that make it one of India’s most revered cars of the modern day.

In the video above, Indian news outlet Times Drive reports that the current Mahindra Thar is about to be phased out in favor of a more modern and redesigned second-generation model. Its swan song is the Mahindra Thar 700 Special Edition: limited to just 700 examples, these Thars carry a slew of upgrades that distinguish them as the last of their kind.

Could this mean that the Roxor is in for a change as well? Officially, nothing has been said. Unofficially, I have my doubts.

It would seem a little shortsighted to only sell the Roxor in its current body style for a couple of years. With production numbers as low as they are and the aftermarket parts scene only just now coming into its own, changing the Roxor now would be a hard pill to swallow for so many parties.

It would also leave a few thousand Roxor owners with a two-year-only UTV that would soon be harder to find parts for than a Packard or Duesenberg. Back when they redesigned the entire car every year or two simply because they could.

Personally, I think North America would be happy to keep buying the Roxor in its current state for several years to come. Just look at the success of the Thar back in India – not only has it become one of the most revered off-roaders in the country’s history, it’s a massively popular car to drive on-road as well.

It’s a recipe that works, and as we say in the Midwest, don’t fix what ain’t broken.

Now I’ll hand it off to Brian for a closer look at what we know about the new 2020 Mahindra Thar and the swan song Thar 700.

2020 Mahindra Thar: Style & Features

The final version of the current Thar, the 700 Limited Edition, receives a decal on the side with a signature of the boss – Anand Mahindra. The 700 is available in two color choices, either Napoli Black or Aquamarine Blue, and production is limited to just 700 examples.

Looking at the newest Thar edition, you will see that the style and design were completely upgraded. We’ve seen a revamped hard rooftop that is removable. It’s also on a brand new platform. The modified Gen3 platform underpins other Mahindra vehicles such as the TUV300 and Scorpio. 

We expect to see LED daytime running lamps and headlamps. Just like the current version, it should also have wide fenders. Owners also have access to the new five-spoke alloy wheels. The style includes a silver finish on its front bumper, a black finish on its grille plus leatherette upholstery and a Thar logo located on the front seats. 

Inside the cabin, there are a lot of new features added. This includes automatic climate control, updated instrument cluster, touchscreen infotainment, forward-facing rear seats, power windows and more. 

There’s no question that the new Thar features more comfort than the current model. It’s a great option as a daily driver, but what does that mean for the Roxor? It may mean nothing, or it may mean everything.

2020 Mahindra Thar: Power

The new Thar receives a brand new engine. The BS6 engine is currently being developed. This same motor is being used on the XUV500 and Scorpio. Owners can expect an output of 140 horsepower, which is far more than what the current Thar produces. 

The Thar 700 keeps the current 2.5-liter turbocharged diesel engine, which is also available on the regular models too. This produces 105 horsepower and features torque of 247 Nm. With this model, owners receive a standard five-speed manual transmission. 

The new Thar is also available with an automatic transmission. Off-road drivers will enjoy the available 4-Low transfer case that increases this SUVs capability. The Thar 700 only features a 4x4 variant, but it also comes standard with ABS. When you look at the outgoing version of this SUV, you see the difference. 

2020 Mahindra Thar: Availability

India doesn’t have to wait much longer for the new Thar. This SUV has been testing on the roads already adorned in heavy camouflage. We expect that there will be further modifications made to this vehicle before we see it released.

The Limited Edition 2019 Thar 700 will only be made in 700 units. It is priced at Rs 9.99 lakh, which comes in under USD 15,000. Since the announcement regarding pricing, there have been a few models spotted in Indian showrooms, and the 2020 version will be hot on its coattails.

What Does This Mean for Roxor?

In March 2018, Mahindra Automotive North America released what is effectively the North American variant of the Thar. The Roxor has become a top choice for off-road enthusiasts. It’s constructed in Michigan out of complete knock-down kits.

Unlike the Thar model, the Roxor doesn’t come as a street legal vehicle but instead is classified as a Side by Side, and as such it’s missing a lot of the interior creature comforts of home.

The current Roxor has an electronically limited top speed of 55 mph and is powered by a 2.5-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine that produces 62 horsepower. It’s paired to a five-speed manual transmission. There’s an optional automatic transmission available as well, and that speed limiter - and the fact that the Roxor isn’t street legal - can both be remedied.

The Mahindra Roxor features lots of customization options. Owners can choose several paint colors for the interior and exterior options. There are also optional safari seats, adjustable ride heights, hard tops and back seats, and tons of accessories available through vendors like Dirt Legal (hey, that’s us!).

We wonder if the new Thar updates in India will translate to anything we end up seeing in the States, but as Justin said earlier, it feels a little early to be changing that’s something so widely accepted as the Roxor.

2020 Mahindra Automotive Lineup

Mahindra is updating a slew of their Indian-market automobiles for 2020. Mahindra has announced plans to release street legal automobiles in the United States within the coming years, so can we glean any hints about their intentions from this latest batch of upgrades?

New cars are coming. In India’s automotive market, Mahindra is stepping up their game to compete with Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki. To get on top of the pack, the company plans some major updates to the lineup over the next year. After launching the new XUV300 subcompact SUV, the Alturas G4 seven-passenger SUV and the Marazzo MPV, the carmaker has some more upcoming models up its sleeves.

There is also a projected XUV Aero Coupe SUV coming in 2020 or 2021. It should have 2.2-liter mHawk diesel motor and pumps out 210 horsepower. The company is also focused on developing an electric KUV100 NXT. It looks identical to the Mahindra KUV100 NXT but features an electric powertrain instead.

Facelifts for everyone. The Mahindra TUV300 received a facelift and some feature upgrades. It now has push start-stop, steering mounted controls, automatic climate control, keyless entry, speed alert plus a reverse parking camera. The new-generation Mahindra Bolero shares the same platform and engine with the Thar SUV.

Next year, the highly-popular Scorpio SUV will also receive some massive updates. With a new platform, engine upgrades and some modern features, this is sure to be a winner.

Do you think the new Thar will influence the Roxor?

Do you think some of these changes might roll over into the Roxor model that we’ve come to love?

Join the conversation in the comments section. 

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