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Mahindra hints at future electric Jeep Wrangler rival with ‘Thar.e’ concept

Daniel Gardner

Mahindra’s electric intentions shape up with another battery powered concept joining its ranks

Mahindra has taken another step along its path to electrified vehicles with a radical concept unveiling in South Africa that hints at what an all-new battery powered model in its ranks may offer.

Revealed at the company’s Futurescape event in Cape Town, the Thar.e is a brazen boxy SUV design study that packages ‘a cutting-edge high-performance AWD electric powertrain’ with tough off-road credentials, and a glimpse at what a production version could become.

The company has been vocal about its electric aspirations with five production models confirmed and a steady stream of concepts hinting at how the battery powered family will shape up, and the Thar.e adds to that hype.

Mahindra Thar snow driving
The Mahindra Thar.e name refers to the Thar model sold in India

It comes as electrification slowly makes its way into the off-road segment, with Jeep offering plug-in hybrid ‘4xe’ variants for the Wrangler in North America, but it may be a while before we see anything like a fully-electric Toyota Prado on our roads. 

With overtly angular design and classic concept flourishes, it’s hard to identify which parts of the Thar.e will constitute a production model if any, but there’s more than a hint of Jeep Wrangler (and Land Rover Defender) about the show vehicle as per previous production versions of the combustion-powered Thar.

In fact, it’s that striking similarity to a certain seven-slot-grille model that’s been instrumental in its exclusion from the Australian market, following a successful bid by Stellantis to prevent the sale of the Thar locally.

2024 Jeep Wrangler 4xe front 3/4
We think the Thar looks a lot like the Jeep Wrangler

Mahindra has previously confirmed electric versions of its existing Scorpio, XUV and Thar will join the respective families in due course, and the latter is due for a new generation early next year.

Mahindra Automotive Australia marketing manager James Halliwell could not confirm to Chasing Cars if the Thar.e concept heralds the first electrified version’s arrival next year but said it’s possible.

“The all-new five-door is scheduled for Q1 next year for a launch in India as an ICE (combustion powered) product,” he said. “It’s easy for us all to surmise what could happen.”

2024 Mahindra Vision Thar.e concept
The 2024 Mahindra Vision Thar.e concept vehicle

The Indian SUV giant already has its first electric vehicle in market in the form of the XUV400 but it’ll soon be joined by more following the establishment of the Mahindra Electric Automobiles Limited subsidiary.

Underpinned by the company’s Inglo EV platform, five models will roll out over the coming years, including the working titles BE.05 and BE.07 high-performance SUVs, an off-road Baja style BE.Rall-e and a pair of more conventional SUVs dubbed the XUV.e8 and XUV.e9.

The Thar.e joins the BE.09 concept with both likely to morph into some kind of production version although exact nomenclature, markets and specifications are a long way off confirmation at this stage.

Mahindra Thar Red Rage colour
Mahindra has big plans in the automotive space going forward

Little information has been released regarding the Thar.e concept, although its maker says the vehicle is made using 50 percent recycled plastics, and features ‘adaptable, modular and swappable components’.

If given the green light for production lines, the Thar.e will live up to its own philosophy ‘explore the impossible’.