LAT­EST NEWS FROM THE 4X4 WORLD

THANKS TO MAHIN­DRA, YOUR NEXT 4X4 MIGHT BE A JEEP … AT LEAST IN SPIRIT, IF NOT IN THE METAL.

4 x 4 Australia - - Contents -

IN­DIAN au­tomaker Mahin­dra & Mahin­dra Lim­ited could well be the saviour of the tra­di­tional four-wheel drive. And by ‘tra­di­tional’, we mean re­ally tra­di­tional: a sep­a­rate chas­sis, live axles at both ends car­ried on leaf springs, and part-time 4x4. You sim­ply can’t get more tra­di­tional or old-school than that.

The ve­hi­cle in ques­tion, known the Roxor in the USA, is very tra­di­tional as it has much of the style of the orig­i­nal WWII Jeep, the ve­hi­cle that spawned the 4x4 world as we know it to­day. Af­ter all, the very first Land Rover, Toy­ota Land Cruiser and Nis­san Pa­trol were all in­spired by the orig­i­nal Jeep.

But the Roxor as it will prob­a­bly be known when it ar­rives in Aus­tralia in 2020/21, is not a re­cent cre­ation of Mahin­dra – Mahin­dra has had Jeep in its DNA from day one.

Mahin­dra was founded im­me­di­ately af­ter WWII off the back of as­sem­bling war-sur­plus Jeeps from knock­down kits sup­plied by Willys-over­land, and by 1968 Mahin­dra was man­u­fac­tur­ing Jeep look-a-likes from 100 per cent In­dian con­tent. Ex­am­ples of these early Mahin­dra ‘Jeeps’ were in­tro­duced to Aus­tralia in 1990 as the Bush­man and the slightly cheaper Stock­man, and they were pow­ered by a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 2.1-litre diesel with – wait for it – 46kw and 120Nm.

The lat­est it­er­a­tion of these early Mahin­dra ‘Jeeps’, the Thar, was in­tro­duced onto the In­dian mar­ket in 2010 and is the ba­sis for the Roxor; al­though, the Thar has in­de­pen­dent front sus­pen­sion with tor­sion bars, while the Roxor has a leaf spring live axle. Some­what iron­i­cally the Roxor built un­der li­cence in the USA from knock­down kits im­ported from In­dia.

In the USA the Roxor is only for off-road use (sold

Nos­tal­gia aside, the new Mahin­dra is built in the tra­di­tion of the good ol’ days.

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