• The new Mahindra Thar will go on sale in South Africa in 2021.
• The Thar will be powered by both a petrol and diesel engine.
• Pricing for the new Thar is yet to be announced.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
Is it coming? Is it not coming? Speculation about whether or not we'll get the second generation Mahindra Thar in South Africa has been rife, and perhaps made more so by Mahindra South Africa keeping mum on the subject.
Fortunately for South African fans of the Indian go-anywhere Jeep-like SUV, we have received confirmation that it will arrive on our shores during the second quarter of 2021.
More than any other Mahindra, the Thar harkens back to the Indian manufacturers' origin story. Originally a steel trading company formed in 1945, Mahindra started producing the Willys Jeep under license in 1948 and has been building this iconic 4x4, albeit in a slightly more modern shape, ever since.
The new Thar
The new Thar represents the most dramatic change in the vehicle's history. It has been redesigned from the ground up. It remains a competent off-road vehicle with full 4x4 drivetrain and low range transfer gearbox while more luxurious than its predecessor. Where the 1st generation was basic to a fault, the new Thar has been brought up to date with luxuries such as a touch screen infotainment interface, removable hard-top roof, and climate control.
Safety has not been forgotten either - the new Thar has been awarded four stars in the Global NCAP crash tests, the highest crash test rating for a ladder-frame vehicle to date. Other safety features include ESP with roll-over mitigation, a built-in roll cage, ABS brakes and airbags.
The engines available in the Thar globally are:
• Turbo diesel - the well-known mHawk-engine with 96kW and 300Nm (slightly less power than in the current bakkies).
• Turbo petrol - a brand-new mStallion engine with 112kW and 300Nm in the manual, and 320Nm in the automatic version.
We will likely see both the familiar turbo diesel and a turbocharged petrol engine in SA, which means that this will be this first time the local Thar will be available with a turbo petrol engine and with the option of an automatic gearbox. In addition to the engine and transmission choices, speculation also shows that the local variant will be available with different specification levels (probably Mid and High).
We don't have launch prices for the Thar yet, but it is likely to remain one of South Africa's most affordable off-road capable SUV. We'll let you know as soon as they become available.