Mahindra – a name that is synonymous with Rugged, Ready-to-take-a-beating, 4X4 workhorses. In India, one cannot mistake the iconic silhouette of the jeep for anything but a Mahindra. The design is so well etched in our hearts and will stay for ever. Well, it was not always Mahindra and Mahindra. They started off as Mahindra and Mohammed in the year 1945 and was later renamed to Mahindra and Mahindra.
Those rugged Jeep’s from the homegrown automaker have a special place and enjoys a cult status among off-roaders and the Indian Armed Forces. Mahindra rolled the ball in 1949, when they launched the CJ3A, with the design licensed from Willys Jeep. 70 years down the line, the legacy still continues forward – With the Thar 700 Special edition.
The CJ3A found its place in the Indian Army. Followed by the CJ3A, Mahindra introduced the CJ3B in 1953. The CJ in the nomenclature stands for Civilian Jeep. It’s because the Jeep came from Willys Overland, who built the Jeep MB for military purpose during World War II. The CJ3B also found its place among the Indian Army – who still continue to upgrade the fleet.
Then came the MM540, in the year 1985 – the iconic silhouette that is carried forward still today in the Thar. It was modern – as compared to its predecessors with better interiors and proper body panels and instantly became an icon among the Indian public. MM540 was then succeeded by MM550 in the year 1995. The rugged MM550 became the trusted workhorse of the Indian Army. It had a more mature design and is recognised as a proper predecessor for the Thar.
Then came the Classic in 1996. The classic was a modern re-interpretation of the CJ series. It soon became a cult icon of its own. The millennium saw the Mahindra Major – The last vehicle to be based on the CJ series. The Major was succeeded by the Legend in the year 2006. The year 2010 saw a new dawn in the Jeep lineup with the Mahindra Thar. it stayed true to its predecessors in terms of Iconic silhouette and true off-roading ability. A mid life facelift was introduced in 2015. In order to bid adieu to the Thar series, Mahindra unveiled the Thar 700 – a limited edition where only 700 units will be produced.
The new Thar is undergoing testing and could be launched in 2020. It will come equipped with BS6 compliant engine and will be bigger than the outgoing model. We expect the 2020 Thar to be showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo.
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