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Old 12th May 2010, 22:40   #1
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Default Thar she blows !!

Note from Mod : The Thar's full test & review has been uploaded at this link (Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review). Thread closed. Please continue the discussion over on the review thread.

I've noticed once too often that some of the most interesting experiences in my life seem to engineer themselves without my seeking them. its actually quite odd how these things happen.

Today was such a special experience. Its not just the Thar or BD or Spike or Fazal. But a heady mix of all. Such fine people. Deep hardcore automotive enthusiasts. So much talk about cars. And then driving the Thar. The whole experience was perfect. So deeply enjoyable. Not to forget a lazy lunch and more talk over Biryani. To top it all out of the blue last Sunday I discovered the perfect offroad venue right next to the city. No more hour long drives to get to a offroad site. Its just a 20 minute drive ! The ideal offroad playground.

So what was the Thar all about? Someone asked me from the group after my driving the Thar on road and off road. They said " In one sentence sum up the car".

I said " The Thar is not a car trying to be a good offroader. Its a very good offroader that also happens to be a very good car"

That really is it.

The Thar is first and foremost a very capable offroad machine. Just remove those doubts in your head about IFS. Its really a non issue. This car can do stuff which any of our Jeeps can do. And to my honest surprise it does some things in two wheel drive which may make the old Jeeps squirm a bit !! Yes I was pleasantly surprised. The reason being the traction the feet of the Thar enjoy is miles more superior to what the NDMS afford the Jeeps. Somehow the weight of this car and the wheels seem to have found the right mix. It simply has all the traction you desire.

Thanks to the impressive traction of the Thar at the wheel and the oodles of power on slight tap of the throttle you can literally dance across rocks like a nimble footed gazelle.

A lot of you were concerned about the Thar lifting a leg once too often on account of the IFS. No sir !! This car has long suspension travel and can put its feet down in ditches far more effortlessly and efficiently than you would expect it to.

Mind you the vehicle I drove didn't have lockable diffs. I would have known in a instant that the car was lifting its feet and being rendered immobile.

The articulation of the Thar is most impressive. For all practical application this car stock can do stuff which will put a smile on your face.

The Thar is not a cheap imitation of the Jeep Wrangler and a pretender. Its a serious offroad machine which can keep pace with any stock offroader sold anywhere. It may also surpass the performance of some, if not offroad it will leave them scrambling on road. I'll get to that later.

We tried a lot of seemingly tough obstacles. With minimal fuss the Thar overcame each challenge thrown its way.

I am actually a bit worried about something. The Thar is so good at setting aside your aprehensions about its ability offroad most of you will actually start attempting some really wild stuff with this machine. For two reasons and I'll get to that later

The engine has torque. No the engine actually has dammed a river of torque !! And its silent torque. Fuss free torque. You don't see plumes of diesel smoke shoot off the exhaust as you tackle a sharp incline. Simply dab the throttle and it rolls up (like cars rolls down)

Power, fabulous traction, impressive articulation. What more do I want from an offroader? Nothing. I can take this anywhere. The Thar can go anywhere. And hearts it will win.

Don't believe a word of what I say. All of you will someday soon get a chance to drive this most impressive machine and you will come away impressed. Even the most hardened critics will have a smile on their faces. For many reasons !

I told BD, you really don't need to peddle the Thar. It will sell itself. It will convince any serious offroader its a serious machine. Not a pretender.

My dear fellas, its time to celebrate. India finally has a fabulous and most affordable offroader which also happens to be a superb car.

Now lets talk about that.

What a car !! Who needs an i20 or a SX4 or a DZire or a Indigo Manza when you have something like the Thar. Its actually a fun car to drive on tarmac. The acceleration when the turbo kicks in is almost eruptive.

The steering feels just right with the amount of feedback you desire to know what the wheels are doing on tarmac.

There is no irritating roll of a top heavy SUV. It handles and corners reasonably well. Better than many SUV's.

The impressively low NVH is the first thing you notice. The diesel chatter is hardly intrusive. You can talk with the co passenger windows down without having to speak over the engine sounds. The vibration levels are reasonably low, its actually quite refined for a diesel

The driving posture seems just right. You sit high like the Jeeps and have a commanding view of the road.

This being a pre production prototype I couldn't assess any aspect of the fit and finishing. This car apparently had more than 170000 kms on the clock and was surprisingly rattle free despite the high use. Some very minor issues will be addressed on the production version, as assured by BD. He seemed to know what these issues were even before I pointed them out !

There may be room for improvement on Mahindra interiors and materials used. The production Thar will have a much better finish than what we drove.

I have driven the Gurkha and to be honest it is no comparison in terms of refinement as compared to the Thar. It beats the Gurkha pants down on tarmac behavior. The car is in a different league. No Jeep, Gypsy or Gurkha can feel as planted, secure, NVH free as the Thar does. Its a milecruncher.

Which brings me to the main reason why I liked the Thar. This is a car that will make owners want to travel a thousand miles to attend offroad events. This is the car which will allow you to travel with your family in comfort and quiet. The Thar will bring the offroad community closer together. From events up in the Himalayas to Arunachal Pradesh to the Western Ghats to deserts of Rajasthan and Gujarat you won't hesitate to pick up the keys to a Thar, tank her up and shoot across the country for a thousand miles for your offroad fun.

And when you are not offroading, you will enjoy driving it as a routine car to work. Any day !!

With aircon and a hardtop this will be a most viable alternative to many a passenger car in India.

The Thar will blow your apprehensions away. Its a fine product. A product Mahindra and Mahindra can be proud of. Its time we celebrate

Fazal do please share some pictures you took of the testing.

I will buy one from the very first lot. What a fun day !! BD and Spike, looks like you have a winner on your hands !!

Last edited by GTO : 5th January 2011 at 18:43. Reason: Adding link to review thread
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Old 12th May 2010, 22:46   #2
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DKG: Your narration seems like a dream come true for those who want to buy a new affordable off roader.

Any clue when it will be launched?!
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Old 12th May 2010, 23:04   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arun1100 View Post
DKG: Your narration seems like a dream come true for those who want to buy a new affordable off roader.

Any clue when it will be launched?!
I think this had to happen. BD is a really good natured fella and he meant well when he asked everyone for their wishlist. Forget what road he took. The man has delivered a killer machine. It will delight all of us.

BTW for those who may be wondering, the Aavalakonda Bangalore OTR will be a breeze for the Thar.

Take it anywhere guys. This really is our machine. The Thar is for all of us. I am sure it will win all of you over.
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Old 12th May 2010, 23:11   #4
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Wonderful review DKG. So can we start cribbing about lack of ABS and Airbag?
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Old 12th May 2010, 23:14   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
I think this had to happen. BD is a really good natured fella and he meant well when he asked everyone for their wishlist. Forget what road he took. The man has delivered a killer machine. It will delight all of us.

BTW for those who may be wondering, the Aavalakonda Bangalore OTR will be a breeze for the Thar.

Take it anywhere guys. This really is our machine. The Thar is for all of us. I am sure it will win all of you over.
You didnt answer his question. When is it going to be launched and its approximate price?

Going by your elation, it certainly "sounds" like a good buy to anyone who reads this. Do buy one soon and drive it down to Bangalore, so we can all "share" the elation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Wonderful review DKG. So can we start cribbing about lack of ABS and Airbag?
You bet !! I think you had some sixth sense to know this is what's more important in the wishlist for the Thar. Seriously it should have airbags and ABS. Its too fast and I am worried about fellas getting throttle happy !! It can take off in a manner that can scare traffic. More so because no one in his life would have seen a 540 lookalike explode like the Thar does

Last edited by Dippy : 13th May 2010 at 09:29. Reason: Back to back posts.
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Old 12th May 2010, 23:19   #6
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DKG,
Thank you for a lovely review. I might end up buying one for my long trips.
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Old 12th May 2010, 23:20   #7
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Originally Posted by DKG View Post
Its too fast and I am worried about fellas getting throttle happy !! It can take off in a manner that can scare traffic. More so because no one in his life would have seen a 540 lookalike explode like the Thar does
I think the version you drove was on steroid, putting out some 140hp or so.
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Old 12th May 2010, 23:27   #8
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DKG, thanks for sharing your experience.

Looking forward to the first Thar on Team-Bhp.

And whichever city these Thars land in, owners please be ready to give your fellow offroaders an opportunity to drive it.

Quote:
With aircon and a hardtop this will be a most viable alternative to many a passenger car in India.
Isn't Aircon an option on this thing?


Quote:
I think the version you drove was on steroid, putting out some 140hp or so.
The Indian version would be 110bhpish?
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Old 12th May 2010, 23:29   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post


I told BD, you really don't need to peddle the Thar. It will sell itself. It will convince any serious offroader its a serious machine. Not a pretender.

I have driven the Gurkha and to be honest it is no comparison in terms of refinement as compared to the Thar. It beats the Gurkha pants down on tarmac behavior. The car is in a different league. No Jeep, Gypsy or Gurkha can feel as planted, secure, NVH free as the Thar does. Its a milecruncher.


With aircon and a hardtop this will be a most viable alternative to many a passenger car in India.
Exactly my sentiments and comments to BD when I drove the Thar on April 11th this year in Alibagh.

The issue my brother is what would be the cost when you put on A/C, Hardtop, and PS. Differential Locks are also an option as told to me by BD. But then what will be the ultimate cost. I guess with all the above option the price might jump to 10+ OTR.

Now I would like to see how many hands go up at that price!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
You didnt answer his question. When is it going to be launched and its approximate price?

Going by your elation, it certainly "sounds" like a good buy to anyone who reads this. Do buy one soon and drive it down to Bangalore, so we can all "share" the elation
What I could make out with the talks was this is going to be launched near Diwali and price would be around 6.25 ex-showroom. Which does not seems to be a bad price.

And for "Elation" Bang Boys should get one of their own !!
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Old 12th May 2010, 23:30   #10
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Ahh nice! And review from you DKG is quite reassuring. Am really getting tempted now

Ok can we have some pics to gather more about the test scenario's. DB & Spike hyderabad is just couple of 100 kms, why dont you just drive to BLR so that we can arrange for some friendly BLR muggers to snatch the vehicle
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Old 12th May 2010, 23:33   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
When is it going to be launched and its approximate price?
Soon and aggressively priced

Quote:
Going by your elation, it certainly "sounds" like a good buy to anyone who reads this. Do buy one soon and drive it down to Bangalore, so we can all "share" the elation
One aspect of the Thar will disappoint some of you guys though. It won't break down as often as you'd like it too. OTR's may not be the kind of fun you are used to

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonewithwind View Post
I might end up buying one for my long trips.
Sounds like a plan. Its really a great milecruncher. Ideal for Indian highways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
I think the version you drove was on steroid, putting out some 140hp or so.
You know the only consolation is if BD and Spike had actually spiked this Thar we can too, afterall its just a remap. We'll persuade BD for the remap! Just kidding

Last edited by DKG : 12th May 2010 at 23:35.
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Old 12th May 2010, 23:34   #12
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Nice review. For all you know, I might end up buying the Thar and surprise myself impulsively.
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Old 12th May 2010, 23:41   #13
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why dont you just drive to BLR so that we can arrange for some friendly BLR muggers to snatch the vehicle
were you listening to our conversations here Jaggu? Be careful when you make a wish. BD has strange ways to deliver !!!
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Old 12th May 2010, 23:46   #14
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were you listening to our conversations here Jaggu? Be careful when you make a wish. BD has strange ways to deliver !!!
All i can say, give me a date and i will apply leave for the whole week Let's see.

Excel sheets here i come!
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Old 12th May 2010, 23:48   #15
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Nice review. For all you know, I might end up buying the Thar and surprise myself impulsively.
Just last week I got off the phone to a senior mkt person at Force about when I can buy the Gurkha. But after today I won't hesitate to dump the Gurkha. Not one bit. And the tarmac ride is no match to the Thar. The diff locks? hmmmm the only issue. BD are you listening?

The Thar with lockers will be dynamite !!
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