A tuned Thar? Yes, you read that right!
I’ve missed out on driving many new cars over the last few years and one that I wanted to get behind the wheel of, was the all-new Mahindra Thar. Every journalist friend, enthusiast and tuner I’ve interacted with has only had good things to say about the Thar, especially with the mStallion 150 turbocharged petrol powertrain. There hasn’t been a two-door petrol jeep sold here in decades apart from the Gypsy. Mahindra seems to have filled this spot well after Maruti Suzuki discontinued the Gypsy a few years ago.
I spent a few days with the petrol Thar and was quite impressed. This new-generation Thar is a true off-roader and has the potential to perform even better not just on dirt and trails but on the road too. It’s more than a generation ahead when compared to its predecessor and contrasting (in a good way) when it comes to on road dynamics and engine performance.
The Thar you see here is not just any other stock machine but a modded one that combines the best of two worlds in one package. 6th Mile Customs of Bangalore has kitted out this petrol Thar with some tasteful mods to make this the ideal two-door SUV one can own in the country today. The 2.0-litre TGDi motor is a refined unit and produces 152PS in stock form but this Thar breathes in more air thanks to the performance BMC air filter. The exhaust sounds great too, courtesy, of the Magnaflow Catback end-can with custom piping. This is the best sounding Thar we have come across, it’s deep and bassy but keeps the decibel value in check too. More importantly, the turbo-petrol motor is happier to rev and translates to better power delivery too. The Ed and I couldn’t stop grinning while gunning this Thar on the highway and it was a very different feeling to be enjoying this capable off-roader on asphalt.
We did drive later through a slushy and rocky trail. The BF Goodrich AT KO2 tyre (mounted on lovely Evo Corse wheels) is leagues ahead of the stock rubber and further elevates the Thar’s off-road manners. The mods can’t be complete though without a set of Ironman 4x4 Nitrogas Shock Absorbers. After all, it’s a 6th Mile Customs mod. The on and off-road ability and overall ride quality is a lot better with these springs installed, besides the added height and increased presence.
While the Thar is modified for bling, off-roading and overlanding, this one is right up our alley with its tasteful and everyday usable modifications. This Thar too will end up with more mods in its lifetime, but to me, this is the ideal two-door machine to have.