Car people have it pretty good in North America. For starters, we would never impound someone’s car for being too shiny (which actually wasn’t the first time). If you want to lower your car so far that you scrape on every pothole, leaf, and railroad crossing, that’s on you (unlike in Australia). Hell, you can make just about anything street legal in this corner of the globe. New supercars that never passed our safety and emissions standards? Sure. Rusty old Beetles with Fred Flintstone floors? Lifted trucks with light bars for headlights? Whatever this thing is? Why not!
Chop, cut, and rebuild to your heart’s content. If that isn’t freedom, I don’t know what is.
There are even fewer rules when it comes to off-highway vehicles – anything the government doesn’t allow on its streets. If you want to de-cat a brand-new KTM dirt bike or Can-Am UTV, you’re more than welcome to. And if you want to take your Mahindra Roxor, lift it, straight pipe it, chip it, go wheeling with it, and drive it home with a license plate on the back, one thing’s for sure: you’re not alone.
This is Roxor Weekly.
2019 Mahindra ROXOR: First Drive and Impressions
In this week’s first video, seasoned Roxor YouTuber Abiez is at Valley Sport and Marine in Minot, North Dakota to check out the 2019 Mahindra Roxor up close and in person.
The 2019 Roxor is different from the first-year 2018 model in several ways. There are factory skid plates and bigger brakes underneath, a higher speed limiter under the hood (up 10 MPH to 55), optional off-road tires on the wheels, and new color options for the body. Not only that, Mahindra has introduced a plethora of accessories including doors, windshields, rear seats, a four-seater roll cage system, and hundreds of color choices and wrap designs to choose from.
It’s also the most expensive year for the Roxor yet: a fully-spec’d example tops out at well over $30,000. Of course, we’re big fans of buying the base model at $15,999 and modifying it yourself.
The 2019 Roxor has enough room to take the family to town or down a local trail, but what does that all mean on the road? Ride along with Abiez as he talks about the windshield, the tires, and of course, the Roxor’s newfound speed.
It feels just like a brand-new vehicle would feel. Purpose built [and] buttery smooth.
Is This the Next Roxor?
With the Roxor gaining crazy popularity in the United States and Canada, it’s easy to forget that Mahindra has been building it for nearly a decade back in India. It’s called the Mahindra Thar over there, and the Indian-market equivalent to a Roxor is apparently set to get a facelift in the very near future.
YouTube channel AutoTrend TV posted this clip of what appears to be a preproduction Mahindra Thar. The vehicle being filmed is a development mule clad in dazzle camouflage, a trick automakers use to mask a vehicle’s styling and identity. But thanks to India’s fairly limited car market, we can safely assume that whatever’s under that camo was made by Mahindra, which most likely means it’s a long-awaited redesign of the decade-old Mahindra Thar.
It’s worth noting that this prototype is equipped with rock slider step rails and bargain-basement steel wheels. The soft top, door frames, and overall body style are tweaked from those of a Thar, and as a result this vehicle looks far more akin to a modern Jeep Wrangler than the Roxor and Thar we’re used to seeing.
Could this be a sign of what’s to come for the Roxor in North America?
I sure hope so, but part of me hopes this change doesn’t come too soon.
We only just got our first taste of the Roxor, after all; to redesign it so quickly would isolate the owners of early models, making early parts harder to come by and forcing aftermarket parts manufacturers to re-tool and re-design their parts just months after doing it the first time.
And the Roxor is still novel and fresh, with a style that’s iconic and instantly recognizable. Why change it so soon?
Hey Mahindra: don’t fix what ain’t broken.
Wait… Roxors Aren’t Supposed to be THAT Fast!
Despite all that freedom we have as off-road enthusiasts here in North America, we’re actually pretty easy to please. Selling us on a diesel-powered, manually-shifted, four-wheel-drive Jeep look-alike is easier than finding a pair of Natural Light boxer briefs at an Alabama frat party. Only one thing could make that combination better: speed.
As Eleanor Roosevelt famously didn’t say:
America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, bad-ass speed.
It’s fitting that we found this video from the speed junkies over at Diesel Freak, who are are all about making Roxors faster than they were ever meant to be. This particular Roxor has benefitted from an ECU tune and speed limiter delete among other mods, and the team says it’ll reach 80 MPH without breaking a sweat. That’s no surprise considering the Roxor has car tires, car-sized brakes, a car-sized engine, and car-like weight, but it’s a major achievement considering the stock Roxor tops out at a measly 55 MPH and has about half the horsepower.
With that said, the Roxor can do highway speeds comfortably according to Diesel Freak:
With no speed limiter and stage 2 tuning around 80mph is definitely all you want to do in the Roxor. 70 mph is much more comfortable.
I interpret that to mean that anything above 70 will start putting hair on your chest at an unsafe rate.
That doesn’t sound like a problem to me.
Woodrat Gets a TigerTail
Ryan has mounted something called a TigerTail on the back of his Roxor. Want to know what that is?
So do we.
“Ryan” is the owner and builder of Project Woodrat, quite possibly the most famous Roxor ever conceived. There’s no doubt that it’s one of the most badass looking off-road vehicles UTV or otherwise – from its Fuel wheels and BKT tires to the 4” lift and ECU tune, it definitely looks the part of a proper wheeling rig. Now that the basics are covered, Ryan’s moving on to the more utilitarian aspects of making a hot, nasty off-road rig behave like a hot, nasty off-road rig should.
The latest step in that process is the addition of a KFI TigerTail, a synthetic tow strap system that mounts to a variety of places. There are no electrical components and no motors to burn up – it’s a manual solution for winching or self-recovery, and it’s perfect for mounting on the back of a Roxor.
So let’s talk about how this thing installs.
There were some issues with mounting: Ryan had to stack a bunch of washers to get the property backspacing to mount the TigerTail, but even then, some the mounting bolts touch the lip of the RXR Performance receiver hitch and the synthetic rope skims the RXR Performance rear bumper. The whole assembly goes on securely, and those minor fitment issues could very well be unique to the RXR Performance parts, but if you have little OCD you'll notice that it's slightly cock eyed and just a little off center.
Intake Reinforcement Bracket
The other item Ryan touches on in this video is the Stainless Steel Intake Reinforcement Bracket. This is an essential modification for any Roxor making more than stock power: this bracket holds the intake boot in place under the higher boost pressures that tuned Roxors produce. Without it, your Roxor will most likely throw a code when the boot lifts off its seal and starts leaking under pressure. It’s not going to grenade your Roxor’s engine or anything, but you’d have to fix the problem and reset the code to get the Roxor out of limp mode.
Adding this bracket is a quick and easy way to make sure this problem never occurs.
Watch the video for step-by-step coverage as Ryan installs the bracket.
The Woodrat Clones are Coming
Project Woodrat was the first customized Roxor to gain international notoriety, so it’s no surprise that Ryan’s creation has inspired others to follow suit.
According to the video’s description, another Roxor is wearing 35” BKT tires and LED Halo headlights – the same ones found on Project Woodrat – along with a straight exhaust system and a different set of wheels. It’s also painted in a rugged shade of grey with the words “Ol’ Smokie” emblazoned on the hood. Other touches include polished aluminum hinges and a dash that’s a lot shinier than normal.
Someone’s building something here.
The elusive owner, known only as Joseph Brown, posted another video in August of last year – it features a Roxor on a lift, revving its heart out through an open exhaust system. That would have been one of the first Roxor exhaust systems the world had ever seen, though these days we have several options to choose from.
Who are you, Joseph Brown? The world wants to know.
Free Horsepower! Get Your Free Horsepower Right Here!
Diesel Freak is back again, this time with a must-have mod for any diesel engine: an electric fan conversion.
You’ve surely heard of people converting their stock cooling fans over to electric solutions. It’s rumored to unlock hidden horsepower in just about any water-cooled application, and when it comes to off-roading – where slow speeds and high-torque climbs are the norm – it’s imperative to take as much stress off the engine as possible.
But is there any truth to that claim?
In this video, the pros over at Diesel Freak answer that question with a resounding “Yes.” Specifically, converting their Stage 2 Roxor to an electric cooling fan upped horsepower from 117.2 to 124 and torque from 206 to 217.9, an increase of nearly 6%.
Not to mention, an electric cooling fan puts you in control of your engine temperatures. Stuck at a light? Ramp up the fan speed. Running cold on the highway? Turn it off altogether. Wheeling in the woods in 4-Low on a hot summer day? You’re gonna need all the cooling you can get.
That makes an electric cooling fan conversion one of the most effective mods you can do to a Roxor – even a bone stock one.
New Videos Every Week
That concludes this very free edition of Roxor Weekly.
One of the best places to test out that new e-fan or those BKT tires is the open road. Let Dirt Legal get you a title, license plate, and registration to help make your Mahindra Roxor street legal anywhere in the United States. You’ll receive a title in your name, registered to your home address, all in a matter of weeks. No inspections and no trips to the DMV. Click the button below to learn more.
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