Back in September 2020, we exclusively reported about Mahindra’s plans for a five-door version of the Thar. Now, a heavily camouflaged test mule of the five-door Mahindra Thar has been spotted testing for the first time on the outskirts of Chennai. It is expected to be launched in the market sometime in 2023.
- Rear looks similar to three door Thar
- Gets a longer wheelbase
- Will get three door Thar's petrol, diesel engines
Five door Mahindra Thar: what to expect
Despite its rugged underpinnings, the three-door Mahindra Thar is already positioned as a vehicle that can be driven every day. However, Mahindra was always wary about the limited market for a three-door model. The five-door version will naturally appeal to a much wider audience, especially larger families.
The additional two doors will be courtesy of a longer wheelbase, and it will also likely get completely new body panels. While the test mule is heavily camouflaged here, the five-door Thar is expected to be slightly wider than the three-door version. This is because Mahindra may increase the track or width between the wheels to maintain an optimum wheelbase-to-track ratio for stability. The Thar’s overall length currently stands at 3,985mm and it has a wheelbase of 2,450mm.
Apart from the added length, and perhaps width, the five-door Thar is expected to look largely similar to its three-door sibling. As can be seen in these images, the rear looks quite similar, with squarish LED tail-lamps, a high-mounted stop lamp, and a tailgate-mounted spare wheel. Glimpses of the front end also suggest a similar look as the three-door version.
However, extending the wheelbase will have implications on the off-road ability as the breakover angle would be reduced. Still, being underpinned by an extended version of the three-door Thar’s ladder frame chassis, it will retain its off-road prowess. Do note that the new Scorpio N is also based on an extended version of the Thar’s ladder frame chassis.
Five door Mahindra Thar: interior
On the inside, the five-door Thar will benefit from more space, both in the second row as well as in the boot. It, however, remains to be seen if Mahindra offers the five-door Thar in a three-row version with six or seven-seater configurations.
What will certainly improve is space in the second row. Currently, the rear seats on the Thar are at best wide enough to fit two adults, as the rear wheel arches restrict seat width. However, by extending the wheelbase, the rear wheel arches will move back a bit, releasing space for a wider rear seat that should be comfortable enough for three.
Although we do not get a glimpse of the interior in these spy photos, the five-door Thar will likely carry over the same dashboard design as its three-row sibling, along with the same equipment list. It could, however, benefit from the addition of new off-road modes, as was seen in the Scorpio N. It also remains to be seen if the five-door Thar is offered with both, a hard as well as a soft top.
Five door Mahindra Thar: engine and gearbox
The five-door Thar will be powered by the same 2.2-litre mHawk diesel and 2.0-litre mStallion petrol engines, mated to the same 6-speed manual and 6-speed auto transmissions. However, similar to the Scorpio N, the five-door Thar could likely get a bump up in power to account for the additional weight.
Five door Mahindra Thar: rivals
Upon its launch, the five-door Mahindra Thar will rival the likes of the five-door Force Gurkha, which too is expected to be introduced in the market next year. It will also see competition from the five-door Suzuki Jimny that’s set to arrive in India next year. The three-door Thar is already enjoying great popularity in the market, and we expect the five-door version to be even more popular, thanks to its added practicality.
Image Credit - Kapil Gupta