What you see here is not a classic Jeep CJ7, even if it looks nearly identical to one. Instead, this is the new Mahindra Thar Adventure Series that's now available for sale in South Africa. To make the off-roader earn its name, the firm gives the machine a bevy of rugged equipment for getting just about anywhere.
The Thar's history goes back over 70 years due to Mahindra's license to manufacture the original Willys Jeep in India. In 1969, the company started exporting them to Yugoslavia. Over the years, Mahindra created multiple variants, including an armored version for India's military.
Gallery: Mahindra Thar Adventure Series
Mechanically, the Thar Adventure Series has a 2.5-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder that produces 105 horsepower (78 kilowatts) and 182 pound-feet (247 Newton-meters) of torque. It runs through a five-speed manual with a shift-on-the-fly, part-time four-wheel-drive system and low-range gearing. A mechanical-locking rear differential provides even more traction when necessary.
For the Adventure Series, Mahindra equips the Thar with a new front bumper with upward slanting sides that allow a 44-degree approach angle. The part also features rectangular LED lights on the corners and brightly colored tow points, which should be easy to see even when muddy. A bar across the top provides extra protection for the grille. A huge snorkel exits from the passenger side fender and rises above the roof. Rock sliders along each side add extra protection to the Thar, and diamond-plated metal side steps sit on top of them. At the back, there's also a new bumper with visible recovery points and a tow bar. The roof features removable canopy and roof sections, in addition to the normal canvas top.
Mahindra also fits a set of multi-spoke aluminum wheels, and the firm offers an optional upgrade to a set of Hankook Dynapro all-terrain tires for better performance off-road.
The Thar Adventure Series retails for 293,999 rand in South Africa ($20,499 at current exchange rates). It's available in three exterior colors: Rocky Beige, Red Rage, or DSAT Silver.
Mahindra unveils the Thar Adventure Series
March 12, 2019, Johannesburg: Mahindra’s most iconic off-roader, the Mahindra Thar, has received a major off-road boost for 2019 with the launch of the Thar Adventure Series model.
The Thar Adventure Series is a special edition equipped with a host of off-road accessories that meet the needs of every off-road enthusiast. It is available immediately from dealers across the country for R293 999.
The Thar Adventure Series builds on the impressive pedigree of the standard Thar 2.5 CRDe 4x4 SE specification by adding special off-road bumpers, a steel canopy, off-road ready alloy wheels and a snorkel.
“The Thar is a firm favourite among Mahindra and off-road enthusiasts alike for its 70-year pedigree and no-frills focus on off-roading. With the Adventure Series, we have added the most popular Thar accessories at a discounted price to create a model that is sure to find favour with this group of fans,” says Rajesh Gupta, CEO of Mahindra South Africa.
Taking centre stage on the list of accessories is a complete set of new bumpers courtesy of Bundu Gear.
The front bumper is a true off-road approach bumper with upwardly slanted sides to expose more of the tyre surface and further improve on the Thar’s standard 44-degree approach angle. It also features brightly coloured recovery points, a functional bush bashing top bar to protect the grille, and high-lift jack mounting points.
The Bundu Gear front bumper also sports in-built LED lights and a mounting point for off-road accessories such as a front tow bar or removable winch.
Bundu Gear’s specialists have also developed a set of hard-wearing rock sliders that can be fitted to the Adventure Series at an additional cost. These sliders have diamond plate top steps and additional high-lift jack mounting points.
At the rear, the matching off-road steel bumper is fitted as standard. It has its own brightly coloured recovery points, jack mounts and an integrated tow bar.
Mahindra has further added a hardened steel canopy from Getec as standard equipment. The canopy and roof section above the front seats can be removed for an open-top driving experience, and Mahindra includes its standard canvas rear canopy as additional equipment.
In front, Mahindra has added a heavy-duty snorkel with an air inlet mounted above the roofline to emphasise the vehicle’s off-road credentials. The snorkel has been designed to allow for safe water traverses and to allow cleaner air into the engine when driving in convoy on dirt roads.
Lastly, Mahindra has selected stunning heavy-duty A-line alloy wheels fitted to the standard tyres. As an option, buyers can opt for more off-road focussed tyres such as the Hankook Dynapro AT wheels with their dual-purpose on- and off-road abilities and their aggressive profile for greater traction in mud and sand.
The Mahindra Thar traces its legacy directly back to the original Willys Jeep, which the company manufactured under licence more than 70 years ago. In its current iteration, the Thar is fitted with Mahindra’s well-proven 2.5 TCI-CRDe turbodiesel engine, which delivers 78 kW at 3 800 rpm and 247 Nm in a flat torque curve from 1 200 rpm to 2 000 rpm.
Under the body shell, the Thar is fitted with a ladder frame, very hardy leaf springs, a stabiliser bar and hydraulic shocks. This combination gives the Thar a ground clearance of 200 mm and allows a very impressive standard wheel travel of 194 mm.
In the USA, the Thar has spawned the Mahindra ROXOR, which is highly popular as a side-by-side recreational vehicle. Mahindra assembles the ROXOR in Michigan and aside from its application in off-road conditions, its fitment of a Power Take-off system (PTO) has made it popular in applications such as snow ploughing and farming.
In South Africa, all Thar models have a mechanical differential lock in the rear and auto locking front hubs. The 4x4-system was developed with Borg Warner and allows for shift on the fly between 4x2 and 4x2 and high and low range.
While the Thar has a clear bias for off-road applications, it offers luxuries such as front cup holders, air conditioning, power steering and a 12V power socket. The Thar Adventure series can be ordered in Rocky Beige, Red Rage or DSAT Silver.
All Mahindra Thar models are sold with a 2-year / 50 000 km warranty, and it can be purchased with an optional service plan of 3 years / 80 000 km.
Mahindra Thar Adventure Series
Engine: 2.5 CRDe four-cylinder turbodiesel
Power: 78 kW @ 3 800 rpm
Torque: 247 Nm @ 1 200 rpm – 2 000 rpm
Turning circle: 5.75 m
Gears: 5 forward with Borg Warner 4x4 system and low-range transfer case and 2.48 crawl ratio
Approach angle: 44 degrees
Breakover angle: 30 degrees
Departure angle: 27 degrees
Wading depth (standard): 500 mm
Price: R293 999
Opt. 3-year / 60 000 km service plan: R19 999
The Mahindra Group is a USD 20.3 billion 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 has 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, defence and two wheelers. Headquartered in India, Mahindra employs over 200 000 people across 100 countries.
Learn more about Mahindra on www.mahindra.com / Twitter and Facebook: @MahindraRise
About Mahindra South Africa
Mahindra South Africa is a fully-owned subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra of India, which was established in 1945. Mahindra SA is celebrating its 14th year of operations in South Africa.
The company has dealers in all nine provinces of South Africa, which are comprehensive facilities that handle sales, service and spare parts. With 60 dealerships, in cities and in towns across Southern Africa, Mahindra has a growing national footprint that is moving ever deeper into communities as the company continues its drive to offer value-for-money products and services to its customers. The company has recently inaugurated its vehicle assembly facility at Durban for its bakkies. Mahindra South Africa also offers wide range of powerful and fuel efficient diesel gensets under brand “Powerol” and have introduced Mahindra Earthmasters 4X4 TLBs recently.
The company has also expanded into other sub-Saharan countries, currently exporting vehicles to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Swaziland and Namibia.
Mahindra South Africa has achieved significant growth in the country since its establishment in October 2004, and since then it has sold approximately 40 000 vehicles.