Reservations for the ‘AX’ variant of the Mahindra Thar 2020 were closed last month and now the news of its discontinuation is official
The second generation of the Mahindra Thar was launched in India in October and the vehicle bookings figures have been pretty impressive since then, even if the sales figures are far behind. The new model represents a significant step forward in terms of comfort, practicality, off-road capability and, above all, safety. The NCAP global crash tested the new Thar and awarded it a 4-star rating for occupant safety for adults and children.
However, the model sent for the crash test was not the basic variant “AX”. On that variant, the Thar has rear seats facing inwards (total capacity of six passengers) and many other features were missing, such as three-point seat belts for rear passengers, ISOFIX supports for child seats and a integrated roll-bar. Interestingly, the manufacturer stopped bookings for the AX variant last month and there have been reports of the base coat discontinuation since then.
Now, the suspension of the Mahindra Thar AX 2020 has become official. The latest SUV brochure only lists AX Optional and LX upholstery (both 4-seater only), which makes it official now. The decision to adopt the AX trim appears to have been the result of two factors: low demand and safety.
Just one week into November, Thar AX bookings were closed because demand was low, while the other trims had accumulated significant bookings. Later that month, Global NCAP released the vehicle’s safety rating, after testing the high-quality LX trim.
By the time critics pointed out that the base variant of the Thar lacked some critical security features (and thus would have scored lower), news of its discontinuation had already spread across the internet. It appears that the manufacturer has decided not to sell an unsafe version of a respectably safe car. For people who want a 6-seater version, however, there is a potential silver lining.
Mahindra & Mahindra is also developing a 5-door version of the Thar, which will have a longer wheelbase and a completely new body. This version could have a 6/7 seat configuration, as it would help to correctly differentiate the 3 and 5 door version of the new generation of Thar. This, however, is purely speculative, but it’s an extremely interesting proposition, right?