Mahindra has been spotted testing the new generation Thar again, but this time with a hardtop. The SUV primarily comes with a soft-type top which is removable and the SUV was earlier spotted using that on the next generation model as well. But the new spy shots reveal that the new version may get a hard top option which will make it much more versatile.
The new Mahindra Thar also shares its chassis with the new-gen Scorpio and the top is not the only change that the brand has made. The SUV is expected to come with a different suspension set up with less travel more suited for the road and the rear suspension is also likely to come in a different setup, the earlier model had a leaf spring suspension on the rear, which is not that great on the highway. With this change, the SUV will have a more driveable road behavior and stable more comfortable ride quality, which will attract more buyers. The track is also reported to be widened as compared to the current model to improve stability in corners. The body panels, bumpers and wheel arches all have been given a design change to give it a muscular look as well as to help the SUV conform to the new strict crash tests as mandated by the authorities.
On the inside, the dashboard and steering wheel will be revamped and it is expected to get a touchscreen infotainment system instead of the dual-din music player (only slot) as seen on the current model. New seats, new instrument console, new AC controls and a more useful interior trim will be in place.
The 2020 Thar is expected to sport the 4-wheel drive system with a manual low range selector and a 5-speed manual transmission. The engine powering the current model is a 2498cc, CRDe diesel engine which produces 105 BHP of power and 247 Nm of torque. Another 2523cc, M2DICR engine producing 63 BHP of power and 195 Nm of torque is also on offer. Both these engines are BSIV compliant as of now and the new model is expected to come with a new 2.0-litre BSVI compliant engine which is likely to produce 140 HP of power.
Apart from the upgraded engine, the new Thar is also expected to get a driver side airbag, seat belt warning for both driver and co-driver, reverse parking sensors and over speed indicator as standard. The new Thar will be more comfortable than the current utilitarian model and will compete directly with the upcoming new Force Gurkha SUV which is also in the process of being upgraded with new body panels and crash safety features.