What is it?
Mahindra’s annual gathering for 2023 saw the unveiling of a very important vehicle in South Africa on August 15 — the Thar.e concept. It is a five-door vehicle underpinned by Mahindra’s EV Inglo skateboard platform and is the second of their legacy brand names to get an electric version.
How is it on the outside?
The exterior design showcases a digital age interpretation of the Thar shape with highlights like the three-slat grille, squircle headlamps and taillamps, chunky wheels, and interchangeable bumpers. Nearly every component on the car is interchangeable and that’s one of the things that Mahindra is going for with this concept car, in addition to using recycled and sustainable materials.
Mahindra has also given it little styling bits, like the front and rear orange tow hooks, extra slim ORVMs, and flared wheel arches for that proper boxy SUV stance. One of the things you will notice is that this is a five-door vehicle indicating that in production guise it will come both as a three-door and five-door model. We also expect hardtop models, soft-top models, hybrid roof versions, and possibly one where you can remove all fittings to make it a full-fledged jungle cruiser.
How is it on the inside?
The Thar.e’s cabin has been revealed in design sketches and indicates a modular layout with a new-age interpretation of the current Thar’s blocky scheme. You can see dual digital displays and steering-mounted controls as a part of the deal. Mahindra has said that in the production version, the components of the cabin will be removable and can be hosed down for cleaning.
What is it powered by?
Mahindra has not revealed the powertrain for this Thar.e but it is expected to share it with the other Mahindra EVs, and our money is on whatever the BE.05 will come equipped with. Plus, it will get AWD, courtesy of individual motors on both axles. As is the case with most manufacturers these days, we can expect multiple battery packs offering various amounts of range. Given that this is a Thar, at least one version is likely to be offered with a smaller battery pack but with a higher emphasis on AWD performance, low-speed driving, and plenty of off-road allowances. This could include higher ground clearance, wider tyres, and an e-differential.
What about pricing and competition?
There’s no confirmed launch date but we expect Thar.e to arrive around 2026. It is a surprise addition to the Mahindra EV lineup that was announced in 2022 at their UK event. And about pricing? Well, it is likely to come at a starting price of around Rs. 20 lakh for the entry-level RWD model while the top-spec five-door AWD might inch closer to the Rs. 25 lakh mark.
The Thar.e is a Thar SUV but with a vision for the future. It represents the automaker’s first step towards bringing its halo names into the electric digital age. The only competition we can think of at the moment is one little hint from Maruti Suzuki, wherein the manufacturer showed the silhouette of an electric Jimny SUV, and it is expected around the same time as this car.