Unlike Mahindra’s popular Indian offerings, like the Scorpio or XUV500, the newly launched Mahindra Roxor launched for the US market is strictly for off-road use. Here’s all you need to know about the new Thar-based off-road SUV.
Mahindra recently unveiled a brand new SUV for the United States market but unlike the likes of the popular Scorpio or XUV500, this one if strictly for off-road use. The Mahindra Roxor as it is called, essentially looks like the ever-popular Mahindra Thar, which itself is based on the iconic Jeep CJ5 from the 60s. however, unlike the Jeep which was road legal in the United States too, the Mahindra Roxor is not road legal and as we mentioned earlier, can only be used for recreational purposes on farm lands, selected trails and selected county roads that have been assigned for off-road vehicles. So here is everything you need to know about the Mahindra Roxor.
The Mahindra Roxor is, as we mentioned earlier, based on the Mahindra Thar. However, the body on the Roxor is polyurethane as compared to the steel body on the Thar. This of course makes it lighter and more durable especially since most of these will go through quite a hard life as work horses. The Mahindra Roxor however does have one big differentiating factor as compared the Thar. Yes, that front grille. The change in the front grille has been made to avoid a conflict of trademark and design as compared to cars that have been produced by Jeep in the United States. Incidentally as we all know, Mahindra did start its life assembling Jeep kits for the Indian market back in the 1940s.
The Roxor also has other changes as compared to the Thar. For instance, the Roxor has no doors, no large roof and no windscreen – all of which comes standard on the Thar. The Roxor instead has a traditional doorless design with a roll cage and a small canvas buttoned down roof to give very basic protection to the occupants. The Roxor also gets cloth side door panels which can be taken completely off. To add to the coolness quotient however, the Roxor comes with chunky off-road spec 16-inch steel rims or optional aluminium alloy wheels and off-road tyres.
The other big chance on the Roxor is the dashboard. While the Thar gets a more palatable plastic dashboard, which has been improved across the years, the Roxor goes back to basics! You get a simple metal dashboard with one large dial in the centre – just like the Jeeps of yesteryears. There are no ‘safety’ features like airbags but the passenger does get a traditional grab handle to hold on to. The seats too are basic and look like they are made out of a material that can be hosed down after off road use. The only real creature comforts in the Roxor though are cup holders, which since the car will be sold in the United States, is an absolute must.
The Mahindra Roxor is available in a range of colours and wrap options. In fact, Mahindra claims that the Roxor is available with 900 paint and wrap options – all of which can be done at a manufacturer level. The options include bright shades of gloss or matte paint, camouflage wraps and even a really cool Dune version with a sand shade paint job option. The Roxor also comes with a host of other add on accessories like off road bumpers, winches, light bars, etc. In the future, Mahindra will also be adding the likes of work adaptations for farm use along with a Power Take-Off or PTO shaft adaptation that will be useful to attach farm equipment. As with the off-road market in the United States, we are sure there will also be plenty of aftermarket options for the Roxor soon considering the sheer amount of customisation almost all off-road vehicles go through in the United States.
Engine, Gearbox and off-road capability:
The Mahindra Roxor gets a 2.5-litre M2DICR engine – essentially the same work horse that has done duty in the Mahindra Bolero for a while – with 62 bhp of peak power and 195 Nm of peak torque. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox along with a traditional manual four-wheel-drive shift lever. The Roxor gets a four-wheel-drive low and a four-wheel-drive high ratio option that sends power to all four wheels via two solid axles. Both axles have an axle ratio of 3.73:1 which will help tractability of off-road trails.
Mechanically, the other big difference (apart from the engine) between the Thar and the Roxor is the fact that it comes with leaf springs up front and in the rear as compared to the Thar which gets a more on-road friendly IFS or independent front suspension setup. This will also help with aftermarket lift-kit solutions for the Mahindra Roxor as it is much easier to lift this setup as compared to the one offered on the Thar. The Roxor also gets hydraulic power steering as standard.
Price and Availability:
Mahindra started off its life as an automaker assembling Jeep kits that were imported from the United States. And now the Mahindra Roxor will be manufactured in the United States with the help of kits sent from India. The Mahindra Roxor will be made at the automaker’s new plant in Auburn Hills in the Detroit area. In fact, the Mahindra factory is the first brand new automaker facility in the Detroit area in decades. Mahindra will not be using its tractor dealer network to market the Roxor and will instead be roping in powersport dealers across the country instead. Expected about 200 of these powersport (showrooms that specialise in adventure sport equipment like quad bikes, jet skis etc.) dealers to sell the Roxor across the country.
Prices are expected to be around the $15,000 or about Rs 10 lakh price range for the base model with customised and optioned out models costing more depending on the equipment added. While there has been speculation about the Roxor making it to India as a more extreme form of the Mahindra Thar, sadly though, this vehicle will only be for the United States and will not make it to India.