Mahindra’s version of the Jeep has been an iconic vehicle when we talk about automotive evolution in the last century. From the CJ 3B that played an important role in the Second World War to the recently updated Mahindra Thar, the Jeep has always had an image of a hardcore off-roader, a vehicle that can take on any possible terrain. The Jeep derives its character from the Willys GPV also known as general purpose vehicle.
Its raw and rugged character is what makes it a hit amongst loyalists and auto-enthusiasts.
An average Jeep owner is someone who has a very undaunted soul, a person who does not care about popular opinion and prefers taking on unknown terrains over normal charcoal roads. From the open streams in Leh- Ladakh to the Coal mine grounds in Jharkhand, the Jeep has been acing almost every topography from generations.
From the CJ 3B to the Mahindra Thar, Let’s have a look at its evolution over the years!
Mahindra CJ 3B
The concept of the Jeep design came into life with the CJ 3B. The car had a short-wheelbase Jeep (81 inches) and were quite light and because of which it was very agile and could take over any terrain with ease.
Mahindra CJ 340
Adopting looks from the previous CJ3B, the CJ340 model by Mahindra in the same segment came with refurbished mechanicals. The CJ3B was the precursor of Mahindra Classic that falls in the short-wheelbase segment. Like its ancestors, this beast too had no room for doors, though the dashboard and seats had a new look.
Cosmetically, Mahindra MM440 has been inspired by Jeep CJ5 but in terms of technology, it is the forefather of Mahindra Thar. For the first time among its kin, the MM440 was blessed with rounded fenders and bonnet design. With 2.2litre hurricane petrol engine mated with three-speed gearbox and two-lever four-wheel drive transfer case, MM440 is not an exception in its segment.
Launched back in late 1989, Mahindra Classic was the show-stealer with its wire wheels, decals and dashboard where one can witness more lights than the cockpit of a small aircraft. Mahindra Classic can be called as the transformation of the CJ340.
Mahindra Thar was introduced in 2010 and Mahindra plonked in the Scorpio’s 2.5 L Common rail diesel engine which produces 104 BHP of power and 247 Nm of torque making the Thar the most compelling offering at that time.
The car has been facelifted recently in 2015 and is a hard-core off roader now with the addition of a manually locking rear differential.
Cosmetically, Thar got new and bulkier front bumper, clear lens head lamps, much flared wheel arches, updated side steps, all new rear bumper and a better canopy that is easier to attach and detach. It also gets a hard top roof as an option alongside alloy wheels and more.
Owing to all its ruggedness and off-roading abilities, the Jeep has always had a very special place in every loyalist’s heart. Though the Thar might be the last ever produced Jeep design by Mahindra, its legacy will last forever.