Mahindra is planning another go at expanding its reach in the States with a Thar-based off-road vehicle.

2015 Mahindra Thar Facelift First Drive Review
Thar based Mahindra Thor is being developed at the Mahindra North America Technical Centre in Michigan

Back in 2009, domestic auto major Mahindra’s former attempt to enter the US market didn’t go down well and met with legal complications. Undeterred, the Scorpio maker is planning to set foot in the market again with a new off-road vehicle tailor-made for the American audience. The vehicle, rumoured to be named as Mahindra ‘THOR’, will be based on the Thar.

The Mahindra Thar hit the Indian soil in 2010 as a successor to the popular MM540 and received a mid-life makeover in 2015. Given the lax state of regulations in our country, the off-roader is perfectly legal to ply on our roads but that’s not the case with other markets where strict emission and safety norms are in place. And that is the reason why Mahindra will be shying away from launching the Thor as a road-going vehicle.

Instead, the off-roader will be positioned as a UTV (Utility Task Vehicle) or a recreational vehicle in America which can be used only off the roads or on closed circuits. This time, the plan is backed by a revised product strategy and a string of R&D and assembly units in Michigan. In addition, Mahindra will be inaugurating a new facility located in Auburn Hills, Michigan on 20th November.

The Mahindra Thor is expected to borrow a 1.6-litre diesel engine from the brand’s subsidiary SsangYong. The Euro-6 compliant engine pushes out 113 BHP of power at 3400-4000 RPM and 300 Nm of torque at 1500-2500 RPM in the Tivoli crossover. The turbocharged motor could be paired with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission to power all four wheels. In our country, Mahindra gives a choice of a 63 BHP DI or 105 BHP CRDe engines on the Thar.

Mahindra Thor

– Mahindra’s second attempt at US market to be marked by an off-road vehicle
– Based on the Thar, could be named as Mahindra Thor
– Expected to borrow 113 BHP diesel mill from the SsangYong Tivoli
– To be positioned as a UTV, not street-legal

SsangYong Tivoli Launch South Korea
Mahindra sub-brand SsangYong is also expected to enter the US by 2019

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