Adorable.

This is not a Jeep Wrangler, though it may look like it. This is actually the new 2021 Mahindra Thar – but don't worry, the company hasn't totally ripped off Jeep (like it attempted to do with the Roxor). Mahindra actually owns the rights to the previous CJ Jeep Wrangler, produced from 1996 to 2006. So the new Thar is totally legit – and actually pretty rugged.

The Mahindra Thar is powered by two engine options: either a 2.0-liter gas or a 2.2-liter diesel. The gas engine is good 150 horsepower (112 kilowatts) while the diesel gets 130 horsepower (97 kilowatts), and both come with the choice of either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic.

2021 Mahindra Thar
2021 Mahindra Thar
2021 Mahindra Thar

And yes, the Thar is a proper off-roader. It has a part-time four-wheel-drive system with a transfer case and a low crawl ratio, and offers solid angles. The Thar's 41.8-degree approach angle is better than its closest competitor, the Suzuki Jimny (37.0 degrees), and its 26.0-inch water fording abilities are nearly double that of the Suzuki. But the stouter Jimny does offer slightly better departure (49.0 versus 36.8 degrees) and breakover (28.0 versus 27.0 degrees) angles.

Unlike the Jeep Wrangler on which it's based, though, Mahindra's off-roader is only available as a two-door. But it does offer hard- and soft-top configurations, as well as seating for up to four or six passengers depending on how you spec it. The latter option gets two additional seats in the rear, facing out of the back of the vehicle.

Gallery: 2021 Mahindra Thar

Inside the Thar there's a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth connectivity. That screen also offers things a digital compass, pitch and roll angle indicator, and wheel angle indicator, and even offers smartwatch and smartphone connectivity via the brand's Blue Sense App. And don't worry, that screen is "drizzle resistant," so it can withstand a bit of water while out on the trail.

No word on how much the Mahindra Thar costs when it goes on sale in markets like India, but it should be available to buyers soon.

Hide press releaseShow press release

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., a part of the $19.4 billion Mahindra Group, today unveiled the All-New Thar, the most eagerly awaited and legendary SUV, on the occasion of India’s 74th Independence Day. In its all-new avatar, the Thar is a quantum leap in terms of performance, everyday comfort & convenience, technology and safety, as it stays true to its core promise of unmatched off-roading capability and builds on its iconic design.

Unveiling the All-New Thar, Dr. Pawan Goenka, MD & CEO, M&M Ltd said, “Today, with the unveil of the All-New Thar, we rewrite history once again. The All-New Thar is firmly rooted in our rich automotive heritage and upholds the Mahindra DNA in its purest form. We are proud of our authentic SUV legacy that has been guarding the freedom of this nation by serving the armed forces since the 1950s, while simultaneously becoming the spirit of adventure and a lifestyle icon. The All-New Thar is a dynamic expression of fun, freedom and independence, and is geared up for its next adventure”.

The All-New Thar will not only attract die-hard Thar enthusiasts, but also appeal to all those people who have always dreamt of owning an iconic vehicle, with all the bells and whistles of a contemporary SUV.

The All-New Thar has the following exciting features:

All-new BS-6 compliant Engine options: The 2.0 litre mStallion TGDi Petrol engine and the 2.2 litre mHawk Diesel engine
New Gearbox options: 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission & 6-speed manual transmission mated to an authentic manual shift-on-the-fly 4x4 transfer case
All-new Roof options: A Hard Top, a first-in-class Convertible Top and an optional Soft Top
All-new Seating options: 4 front-facing seats & 2+4 side-facing seats
All-new Technology Features: Drizzle resistant 17.8 cm touchscreen infotainment system, cruise control, adventure statistics display and a whole lot more
All-new Comfort and Convenience Features: Sporty front seats, roof-mounted speakers and lots more
New Safety Features: ABS + EBD, Dual airbags, ESP with rollover mitigation, Hill-hold and hill descent control and a whole lot more
According to Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director, Auto & Farm Sectors, M&M Ltd., “The All-New Thar will enhance the appeal of a brand that is already a cult, to a wider set of consumers. It will target people who seek extraordinary journeys and wish to Explore the Impossible. The All-new Thar will be launched on 2nd October, 2020 which is also our Founders Day”

Veejay Nakra, CEO, Automotive Division, M&M Ltd. said, “The Thar has represented the spirit of freedom, thrill and fun-to-drive character that few other vehicles can match. With the All-New Thar, we aim to protect this legacy with superior performance both on and off the tarmac, advanced technology features, excellent safety and everyday ride comfort, all adding to the unadulterated driving pleasure of a true-blue modern SUV.”

Ever since India became a free nation, ‘The Mahindra Classics’ have enabled Indians to explore new worlds and conquer even the most challenging terrains. For over seven decades now, The Mahindra Classics have shared a close bond with India’s story and the unveil of the All-New Thar on the momentous occasion of our country’s Independence Day is a significant milestone in taking this journey ahead.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson, the renowned poet said, “Do not go where the path may lead; Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” The All-New Thar allows you to do just that.

Designed and engineered in India and manufactured out of Mahindra’s Nashik Plant, the All-New Thar will be available in 6 exciting colours, Red Rage, Mystic Copper, Napoli Black, Aquamarine, Galaxy Grey and Rocky Beige.