Mahindra is all set to launch the Thar with a smaller powertrain – a 1.5-litre diesel engine with rear-wheel drive. This new engine will help the Thar qualify for the lower tax bracket and will be aimed at buyers looking for an SUV for city use. We take a look at what will be different on the Mahindra Thar 2WD.
- Mahindra Thar 2WD prices will start at around Rs 10 lakh
- The 1.5-litre diesel engine will produce 118.5hp on Thar 2WD
- Price announcement expected by late January 2023
Mahindra Thar 2WD: what's different?
First and foremost, the two-wheel-drive Thar loses out on the 4x4 selector available on the higher versions; instead, Mahindra has given it a cubby hole. The Thar 2WD also gets the auto start/stop function, which can be accessed from the control panel between the steering wheel and the driver’s door.
The Thar 2WD also gets a new panel of control switches that has been repositioned to the centre console. This panel includes a door lock/unlock button, hazard light switch, traction control switch and more. Mahindra has also removed the 4x4 badging from the rear fenders. Everything else on the 2WD Thar is the same as on the 4WD Thar.
Mahindra Thar 2WD: powertrain options
The Mahindra Thar 2WD will be available with two engine options. One will be the 1.5-litre diesel engine that currently does duty in the Marazzo and will produce 118.5hp and 300Nm on the Thar. While in the Marazzo, the engine is paired to a front-wheel drive system, it will be paired to a rear-wheel drive system on the Thar.
The other will be the existing 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine that develops 152hp and 300Nm (320Nm with the automatic gearbox). These can be mated with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
Mahindra Thar 2WD: expected price, rivals, launch
Mahindra can take advantage of the excise benefits that the smaller engine and sub-4m length offer and price the 2WD Thar diesel around Rs 10 lakh (ex-showroom). When Mahindra introduced the now-discontinued Thar AX, it was priced at Rs 9.8 lakh (ex-showroom) for the soft-top variant with petrol engine.
The Thar 2WD is expected to go on sale sometime in January 2023, which is around the same time Maruti Suzuki will unveil the 5-door Jimny at Auto Expo 2023. Mahindra, however, will not be present at Auto Expo this time.