It's got Willys DNA and it's half the price of a new Wrangler, but there's a notable catch.
A brand-new Jeep Wrangler will set you back $27,000 at the very minimum, and that’s for a base-model two-door. That price also doesn’t include all the various fees and taxes, so when you sign on the final dotted line it’s not surprising to see a total cost over $30,000. That’s not a particularly thrifty sum, but thanks to India-based Mahindra you can step into the off-roading realm with the Roxor for roughly half the price. There is a catch, however, which we’ll discuss in a bit.
First off, how does Mahindra get away with what’s obviously a Jeep design? The company actually has rights to it – back in the 1940s, the Mahindra obtained a license to build and sell the original Willys Jeep, which is pretty much what you see here. Obviously, it can’t be called a Jeep because the name is most decidedly not available for use, hence the Roxor moniker. The original go-anywhere off-roader design, however, is something Mahindra has literally built for decades in various forms.
We’re only hearing about it now in the States because the company is expanding to other markets, and lest you think it’s an import from India, the Roxor is built in none other than the Motor City. Given the size and severity of potholes in the Detroit metro area, it’s a perfect place to test the Roxor’s old-school leaf spring suspension that supports solid axles front and rear. The steel frame is of course separate from the body, and under the hood is a 2.5-liter diesel engine that makes 62 horsepower (46 kilowatts) with 144 pound-feet (195 Newton-meters) of torque.
That doesn’t sound like much power to carry the 3,000-pound (1,361- kilogram) Roxor, and you’re right. The top speed is listed at 45 mph (72 km/h) which isn’t even enough to make the Roxor legal for operation on many interstates. That doesn’t matter though, because here’s the catch we mentioned earlier: the Roxor isn’t street-legal, period. It’s designed as solely as an off-road, non-highway use vehicle.
Still, for someone seeking a vintage Jeep experience in a new made-in-America package, it’s hard to argue against the Roxor’s appeal. With nine inches of ground clearance and 3.73 gears with ultra-low range, it certainly looks seriously off-road ready right out of the box.
Mahindra says the Roxor’s official launch is March 19 in San Antonio, Texas. The company is currently establishing a U.S. dealership network through dedicated power sports dealers with a goal of having 300 locations. 230 are already on-board.
Gallery: Mahindra Roxor
Mahindra Unveils New Off-Highway Vehicle: ROXOR
• Mahindra introduces ROXOR, creating a new sub-category in the Side x Side powersports segment
• Mahindra’s auto business began 70-years ago with a license to build Willys vehicles for the Asia region.
• Mahindra launches new powersports dealer network to distribute ROXOR
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., March 2, 2018 — Automotive and powersports journalists from across the country, along with high-ranking federal and state officials, gathered today for the public unveiling of Mahindra’s ROXOR—a new, off-highway vehicle that signifies Mahindra’s commitment to introducing their tough, no-nonsense automotive heritage to consumers in the North American market. ROXOR’s design demonstrates that Mahindra intends to stay true to their roots of industrial-grade construction and durability.
“Mahindra’s 70-year automotive history has been forged by making authentic, rugged, purpose-driven vehicles; ROXOR is the embodiment of this history…and our brand,” Mahindra Managing Director Pawan Goenka stated.
Unlike the plastic-bodied, belt-driven vehicles long accepted in the Side x Side category, ROXOR offers a simple, hard worn approach, featuring a steel body on a boxed steel frame, a heavy-duty Mahindra turbo-diesel 4 cylinder engine, and an automotive style 5-speed manual transmission.
“The ROXOR creates a new sub-segment in the Side x Side industry, and the response we’re getting from our newly appointed dealer body has been really outstanding. We have a National Dealer Meeting scheduled on March 18-20th, in San Antonio, Texas, where we’ll sit down and discuss the roll-out and future product offerings. We’re approaching our goal of 300 “1st wave” dealers, and expect that we’ll reach this target between now and the end of the show,” said Rick Haas, Mahindra North America Automotive’s President and CEO.
ROXOR was conceived, designed, engineered and is being produced in Metro Detroit by Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA). MANA is part of the $19B Mahindra Group and recently opened a new NA Automotive headquarters and manufacturing center in Auburn Hills, MI. MANA’s new operation is the central component of the 400,000 sq. ft. (spanning 3 facilities) footprint Mahindra now has in Metro Detroit, and is the first OEM manufacturing/assembly facility to open operations in Southeast Michigan in over 25 years.
Mahindra Automotive North America has, to date, created 300 new jobs and invested over $230 million into Southeast Michigan. As both ROXOR production and other programs ramp up, Mahindra anticipates creating an additional 400 jobs and investing another $600 million in the local economy by 2020.
Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA) is Mahindra’s North American automotive headquarters. In addition to leading all North America activity, MANA is a comprehensive automotive design, engineering and vehicle development center. Established in 2013 and located in Auburn Hills, Michigan, MANA’s team of veteran executives, engineers and designers working with affiliate Mahindra automotive teams in India, Korea and Italy, is playing a key role in growing Mahindra’s global automotive business.
Learn more about Mahindra Automotive North America at: www.mahindraautomotiveNA.com
About THE MAHINDRA GROUP
The Mahindra Group is a $19B federation of companies that enables people to rise through innovative mobility solutions, driving rural prosperity, enhancing urban living, nurturing new businesses and fostering communities. It enjoys a leadership position in utility vehicles, information technology, financial services and vacation ownership in India and is the world’s largest tractor company, by volume. It also enjoys a strong presence in agribusiness, components, commercial vehicles, consulting services, energy, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, steel, aerospace, defense and two wheelers. Headquartered in India, Mahindra employs more than 240,000 people across 100 countries.