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Mahindra Thar caught testing; Is a more powerful variant getting ready for export markets?

After years of testing across the vast Indian landscape, Mahindra launched the all-new second-generation Thar last October. Since then, the order book has been overflowing with Mahindra struggling to produce enough to meet demand.

Despite being a lifestyle vehicle, the Thar hit the right chords for thousands of Indians out there who are raring to go out and explore the impossible.

With the choice of a powerful petrol or a torquey diesel engine mated to manual or automatic transmissions and specced in either adventure (AX) or lifestyle (LX) series, there is a Thar for just about everyone. The iconic Jeep-inspired looks and the go-anywhere 4x4 credentials add to its appeal.

Just a few months after launch, it appears Mahindra is back to it's testing routine with the all-new Thar. Caught in the outskirts of Chennai on the highway that houses the Mahindra Research Valley, it begs to be asked what's new in here.

In terms of looks, there's hardly anything new apart from a couple of barely-noticeable changes. The tailgate now houses a rather large 4x4 badge which is currently seen on the right rear fender. Though it can't be seen in these pictures, the radiator grille has changed too from the tacky one the Thar on sale now has.

If reports circulating in the web are to be believed, Mahindra is said to be working on a more powerful tune for the 2.0-liter 'mStallion' petrol engine that powers the Thar. The car spotted testing here is the petrol automatic variant, which adds further ammunition to those reports. It is not hard to believe as the 150 horsepower the 4-cylinder mill generates right now isn't much for markets like Australia, South Africa and the Middle East where Mahindra intends to export the Thar. An addition of 20 to 30 horses would do the Thar a world of good and make it a strong contender against established rivals like the Suzuki Jimny and the more expensive Jeep Wrangler.

While nothing can be confirmed at the moment, just about anything related to the Thar is good news, given the car's popularity. So, let's keep guessing until Mahindra spills the beans!

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