Indian automobile major Mahindra & Mahindra has unveiled the all-new 2021 Thar SUV. The latest version of Mahindra’s time-tested off-roader comes with a refreshed design, an upgraded cabin and a petrol engine option.

Photo: Supplied

While the Thar might look like a rip-off of the legendary Jeep Wrangler, it’s to be noted that the design is a legitimate one based on the Jeep, as Mahindra owns the rights to the CJ Jeep Wrangler. The Indian firm was one of the many manufacturers in the world Willys (the Jeep's original producer) licensed the CJ's design during and after the Second World War.

Photo: Supplied

While the previous Thar was only offered with a diesel powertrain, Mahindra has now added a 2.0-litre petrol engine that’s good for 150 horsepower along with 2.2-litre diesel unit that puts out 130 horsepower.

Both these powertrain options come with the choice of either a six-speed manual transmission with a manual shift-on-the-fly 4x4 transfer case, or a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Photo: Supplied

It’s not just in the looks that the Thar is Jeep tough. It is indeed a proper off-roader with a part-time four-wheel-drive system, a transfer case and a low crawl ratio. The Thar's 41.8-degree approach angle, 36.8-degree departure angle and 27-degree breakover angle all point to its impressive all-terrain credentials. The Thar’s 26-inch water-fording ability is impressive too.

Photo: Supplied

"With the all-new Thar, we aim to protect this legacy with superior performance, both on and off the tarmac, advanced technology features, excellent safety and everyday ride comfort, all adding to the unadulterated driving pleasure of a true-blue modern SUV," Veejay Nakra, CEO, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra, said in a statement.

Photo: Supplied

The Thar is only available as a two-door but offers both hard- and soft-top configuration. Seating can be configured for four or six passengers. The six-passenger option adds two additional seats in the rear, facing outwards. The new Mahindra Thar SUV will be launched on October 2, 2020.