More than 60 years in the making, Mahindra Thar boasts of the immortal automobile design. The origins of the legendary Thar dates back to much before Mahindra began manufacturing and selling the ubiquitous MM540 in India.
Mahindra has etched its way in the pages of history from manufacturing civilian jeep under license from Willy’s overland corporation and later went on to exporting Mahindra 4x4’s overseas in 1981 to manufacturing the CJ5 type diesel based vehicle christened the MM540 in 1985. With the bold design and the powerful XDP4.90 engine, it became an obvious choice for the Indian Army to incorporate these all-terrain vehicles into their services in 1995. The engine developed around 62 BHP of power and around 12 kgm of torque.
With growing demands and expectations, a need for a petrol variant was felt in the market. As always M&M rose up to the challenge and by 1997 it stood proud with an 1800 cc Japanese engine powered version of the MM540 which were mostly sold overseas and to Para-military forces. Around the year 2000, the MM550 was born with an upgraded seating capacity of 8 passengers over 6 passengers. Evolution took a quantum leap in 2003 when it received a major chassis and suspension up-gradation with the adaptation of the “NGCS” (New Generation Chassis and Suspension).
In 2005, M&M cruised its way to complete 60 years. To commemorate this milestone, a limited edition of 60 MM540 vehicles was manufactured in the Kandivli plant. This tiny fleet of supremely powerful and exclusive vehicles was named “Legend”. These vehicles were all made in the 4 wheel drive configuration and carried the hallmark signature of Mr.Keshub Mahindra, Chairman Mahindra. In the same year, M&M supplied around 3000 MM550 vehicles to the Indian army.
Due to legislative norms that came into effect in 2005, the production of Mahindra Classic and even the MM540 were discontinued. This gave rise to an inevitable dearth of fine off-roading vehicles that symbolized “freedom”. From dire needs to revive the MM540 the first “climate prototype” arose from the ashes in the R&D center in the Nasik plant on the 8th of December 2008. With the mission to resuscitate the legendary looks and raise the bar of performance, the NEF CRDe 105 BHP / 25.5 kgm torque producing brute of an engine was fired. It ran as if it had “wings of fire” and from that point onwards, there was no looking back. Overseas homologation was completed by October 2009 and these vehicles began winning prizes in the open category of every off road competitions.
On the 4th of October 2010, the ultimate off-roading vehicle with the NGCS advantage coupled with the very first 4 wheel drive capabilities, short of climbing a vertical wall, the THAR CRDe domestic vehicle drove out of the Nasik plant. And on 21st December 2010 it made its presence felt across the nation with the official launch.The king of all terrains revels in all its glory as soon as the road ends and it sets to begin its journey.