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A few months ago, Mahindra upgraded the Thar with AC and a better quality soft top. While the upgrade was much needed, many basic things are still not offered on the Thar. We have just now received exclusive information from our source, who informs us that Mahindra is already working on a major upgrade to the Thar. This upgrade will bring vast improvements to the Thar and will be launched in 2013. The company plans to make the Mahindra Thar a more practical vehicle, in order to make it appeal to a large off-roading audience.

The new Thar will get all new interiors. The current interiors of the Mahindra Thar are way too utilitarian and lack proper ergonomics. The engine start key hole is placed too close to the dashboard due to which the driver’s hand tends to hit the dashboard when turning on the ignition. There are many panel gaps too and Mahindra will also address quality issues. Power windows will be added to the front doors and a foldable canopy soft top will be offered. This soft top is similar to the one seen on the Jeep Wrangler and makes it much easier to fold the top down. Mahindra has no plans to offer a hard top and will keep that option for the aftermarket.

Currently the Mahindra Thar is powered by a 2.5-litre CRDi engine which produces 105 BHP of power and 247 Nm of torque. Our source tells us that a new engine will make its way to the upgraded Thar but couldn’t confirm which one. Could Mahindra plonk the 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder mEagle diesel engine into the Thar? The 1493cc unit has twin-turbochargers and produces a peak power output of 100 BHP at 3750 RPM and a peak torque output of 240 Nm between 1600-2800 RPM. This engine will debut in the mini-Xylo in the next couple of months.

This compact engine is BSV compatible and could be the ideal engine for three reasons. Being BSV compliant will make it easy for Mahindra to continue exporting the Thar to overseas markets. The mEagle motor weighs just 185 kgs, which is around 100 kgs less than the Thar’s current engine . Lastly, the Thar has an overall length of 3920 mm and thus Mahindra can benefit from lower excise duties on the vehicle. This will result in the Thar’s pricing remaining the same as the current model but with added features and improvements. The Mahindra Thar is priced at Rs. 6.75 lakhs (ex-showroom, Mumbai).

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