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Finally for Oz? 2025 Mahindra Thar 5-door takes shape: New render shows what a bigger, tweaked version of India's 'Jeep rival' could look like

The Mahindra Thar traces its history back to the same Willy’s Jeep as the current Wrangler does (Image: SRK Designs).

Mahindra is expected to reveal a five-door version of its Wrangler-style in the coming weeks, with test cars having recently been spied, but Australia shouldn’t get its hopes up until the model’s design is confirmed.

Digital artist SRK Designs has created a render of the Thar five-door, which features a slightly redesigned front end that differs from the face of the current three-door Thar that looks quite similar to the Jeep Wrangler

But, because of those similarities, the model’s relevance to Australia relies on design tweaks that the Indian company may decide not to make.

We likely won’t see the Thar here in Australia, after Stellantis-owned Jeep won a case to have the model excluded from sale locally due to its design similarities to the Wrangler.

Despite possible temptation to call it a Wrangler copy, Mahindra can trace the Thar back to the original ‘Jeep’ when the Indian brand was licensed by Willys to build the model in the late 1940s.

While Mahindra has built Jeep-style 4x4s for decades, the Jeep brand’s direct link back to the original design of the model, and Jeep’s established presence in Australia are clear.

Mahindra is expected to reveal a five-door version of its Wrangler-style in the coming weeks. (Image: Thanos Pappas)

After the legal action from Jeep, Mahindra must notify Stellantis of intention to go on-sale with the Thar in Australia and have any styling changes approved.

In terms of the five-door version of the Thar, Indian motoring media outlets have reported expectations the model will score updated suspension and chassis upgrades to improve comfort.

Additionally, a larger 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine borrowed from the Scorpio could replace the 1.5-litre unit currently used.

We likely won’t see the Thar here in Australia, after Stellantis-owned Jeep won a case to have the model excluded from sale locally.

New safety standards required in India as of this year could also see the model score a suite of new active kit including Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and other advanced driver-assist safety technology.

In terms of Australia, plans for the Thar are currently unclear, according to Mahindra’s top brass.

"We announced it in the last quarterly meeting in Hyderabad," said Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Chief of Global Product Development R. Velusamy in 2023.

It's likely the Thar would line up more closely with the Suzuki Jimny in terms of market positioning and price if it does eventually make it to Australia.

"The first quarter of next year for the Indian market. I'm not sure currently what the plans for Australia are."

While the Thar’s design aligns with its shared history with the Jeep Wrangler, it’s likely the model would line up more closely with the Suzuki Jimny in terms of market positioning and price if it does eventually make it to Australia.

The Wrangler’s price has skyrocketed in recent years, starting from $81,450 before on-road costs now as opposed to the range of $48,950 to $68,950 the model cost upon the 2019 launch of the JL Wrangler.

The smaller Jimny, on the other hand, costs from $28,490 up to $36,490.

Chris Thompson
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Racing video games, car-spotting on road trips, and helping wash the family VL Calais Turbo as a kid were all early indicators that an interest in cars would stay present in...
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