During his recent Ahmedabad roadshow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was seen in an open-top Mahindra Thar SUV
Following BJP’s landslide victories in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, and Manipur, PM Modi did a rally through the streets of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Interestingly, the vehicle he took for the roadshow drew as much attention as the PM himself. He was being driven around in an open-top Mahindra Thar, and he was seen standing in the SUV and waving to the crowd.
This is the first time the PM was seen in a Mahindra Thar. This doesn’t seem like a car from Special Protection Group’s (SPG’s) fleet, as it doesn’t seem to be armoured and the roof is open. There’s no decoy, as the PM was visible in his vehicle at all times, defeating the purpose of having a decoy car in the convoy. This car is probably a regular civilian SUV that was decorated for the roadshow.
Given his VVIP status, the prime minister usually travels in armoured vehicles, including armoured versions of BMW 7-Series, Land Rover Range Rover Vogue, Toyota Land Cruiser. Recently, he added Mercedes-Maybach S650 Guard to his fleet, which offers a VR10 level ballistic protection rating, the highest level of protection available on a regular production car.
Mahindra Thar is one of the best off-road capable SUVs one can buy in the Indian market at a reasonable price – Rs. 13.17 lakh to Rs. 15.33 lakh for the petrol version, Rs. 13.38 lakh to Rs. 15.53 lakh for the diesel version (ex-showroom prices, New Delhi). The petrol version gets a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, rated at 150 PS and 320 Nm (300 Nm for manual variants).
The diesel version has a 2.2-litre turbocharged engine under the hood, which belts out 130 PS and 300 Nm. Transmission choices include a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic, available on both engines. A four-wheel-drive system (with a shift-on-fly transfer case) is available as standard on the SUV.
Currently, Mahindra Thar is only available in a three-door format, with a choice between a fixed hardtop roof and a convertible soft-top roof. The manufacturer is working on a five-door version of the SUV, which is expected to debut either towards the end of this year or around early next year.