- Among the longest existing nameplate in India
- Enjoys a cult following in the country
- Waiting periods for the new model extend up to 1.5 years
Mahindra & Mahindra has had a significant impact on the lifestyle vehicle segment in the India market. Butch and capable SUVs have had a constant presence in the company portfolio. On such SUV which has been a constant companion for adventure seekers and those who love off-road exploration is the Mahindra Thar. Owing to its robust design, rugged & reliable nature, and incredible off-road capabilities, the SUV has had a considerable following in the country. But to achieve this sophistication, the Thar has come a long way from being a descendant of the iconic Jeep CJ model to India’s most sought-after off-roader today.
- Onsets with Jeep: In 1947, Mahindra & Mahindra ventured into the automotive space by assembling the iconic Jeep Willy in India. This observed the dawn of Indian automaker’s association with off-road and utility vehicles.
- Assembling of The Jeep Willys CJ-3B: In 1954, Mahindra began licensed assembling of CJ-3B open-bodied, off-roader. It soon became an integral part of India’s motoring culture. A 72 bhp 2.2 litre Hurricane petrol engine powered it.
- Mahindra CJ4A and CJ500D: Based on a Jeep, the Mahindra CJ4A has a wheelbase of 91 inches which made it more spacious than the CJ-3B. Later, it was introduced with a new 38 bhp 2.3-litre Harvester B275 diesel engine from Mahindra’s tractor range, making it the first Mahindra off-roader to get a diesel engine. It was offered with both 4×2 and 4×4 drivetrain options.
- Mahindra CJ340, Classic, Classic CL340, MM540 and MM550 Taking this legacy ahead, the SUV manufacturer further refined and enhanced its design and gave birth to many other SUVs and then the Jeep CJ5-based MM540 was introduced from which today’s Thar borrows its silhouette. It featured rounded fenders and a bonnet design. Later, its enhanced version, the MM550, was launched for military use.
- Mahindra CL550 (Mahindra Major): Mahindra CL550 was essentially a long-stretched version of the CJ4A, which was later dubbed the Mahindra Major.
- Mahindra Legend: It was essentially a limited edition version of the MM series, introduced to celebrate Mahindra’s 60th anniversary.
- First-Gen Mahindra Thar: Introduced in 2010, the first-gen Mahindra Thar borrowed its design from the Jeep-derived MM550, featuring curved panels upfront, with the main body bolted on the chassis. It was a tough competitor to the Maruti Suzuki Gypsy and became an instant hit among enthusiasts. It was given a facelift update in July 2015.
- Mahindra Thar 700 In order to give a farewell bid to the first-gen Thar,
Mahindra introduced a limited-run Signature edition of the off-roader called Thar 700. Featuring a host of cosmetic changes, it was limited to just 700 units.
- Second-gen Thar: In October 2020, Mahindra introduced the new-generation Thar in the country. Its Jeep Wrangler-esque styling, a plethora of modern-day features and options of multiple body types straight from the factory base made it an instant hit. Loyal to its off-roading DNA, the Thar was offered with a 4×4 drivetrain as standard. Nowadays, it can also be had with a 4×2 system.
Due to this gradual process of change & development, over 70 years of legacy, and its remarkable characteristics, along with a high level of personalisation options available in the market, the Mahindra Thar has a cult following in India.
Singh is an experienced spiritual writer and the resident author at Guruvanee.com. With a deep passion for exploring the mystical aspects of life, Singh delves into various spiritual traditions, philosophies, and practices to inspire readers on their spiritual journeys.