Following the recent announcement from the GST council which now dismisses the Mahindra Thar as an SUV, it has now come to light that the company is planning to launch a few more affordable variants of the model. According to reports, Mahindra will be launching a third powertrain option which will be a 1.5-liter diesel engine. This forthcoming variant will only come equipped with a 2WD system ditching the 4WD of the 2.2-liter diesel and 2.0-liter turbo-petrol engines.
Recently a very clear spy shot showing the interior of this rumored vehicle surfaced on the internet. From the picture, we can note that the vehicle was missing the 4×4 gear selection lever that is positioned beside the transmission lever in all 4×4 variants. Speculations are that this 2WD drive variant paired with a smaller petrol engine and the recent announcement of Thar not being an SUV will enable the company to launch it in an extremely competitive price range.
As per the recent official GST council meeting, the definition of SUVs has been changed. As per the official press release “The higher rate of compensation cess of 22% is applicable to motor vehicle fulfilling all four conditions, namely, it is popularly known as SUV, has engine capacity exceeding 1500 cc, length exceeding 4000 mm and a ground clearance of 170 mm or above” And as the Mahindra Thar measures in under 4000 mm in length, does not qualify to be called a full sized SUV, thus attracting lower tax rates.
Mahindra will most likely take the newly introduced excise advantages and will launch the Thar 1.5 diesel 2WD below the Rs 10 lakh mark. Also the company could be launching the 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine with the 2WD system as well. This will also help the brand in creating a new variant thus offering the customers another option.
The upcoming 1.5 diesel 2WD entry-level variant of the Thar will most likely come powered by the same 1,497cc engine that currently powers the brands MPV Marazzo. This powertrain in the Thar could produce around 117 horsepower and will only be paired with a five-speed manual gearbox. Additionally, this engine will only be available in 2WD form.
Furthermore, we all know by now that the company is also looking to launch to the five-door variant of the Thar which will be a more practical model for the country. As per the speculations, the five-door Thar will also receive 2WD options. It is believed that as the new models wheelbase will be longer it will not be a fully fledged off-roader and its main purpose will be practicality so offering this model with a 2WD setup will further drive up the sales for Mahindra.
As of yet, no launch dates have been announced by the company but sources claim that the 2WD variants of the Thar will be launched next month in January. Also recently another production ready test mule of the five-door Thar was spotted testing in the country hinting that it too could be launched in Jaunary of next year probably around the Auto Expo 2023’s dates.