When it comes to rugged vehicles, they don't get much more rugged than the Mahindra Thar and there's a hot chance that it will be coming to Australia in 2016.
Mahindra Australia is investigating the option of importing the Thar under a low-volume import licence. This would mean that the vehicle could never be registered or driven on a public road.
Powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine, the Thar produces 79kW of power and 247Nm of torque, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
While it's no rocket ship, the Thar is best known for its off-road ability. It features 200mm of ground clearance and an incredible 44 degree approach and 27 degree departure angles.
It also comes with a low-range gearbox and a mechanical locking rear differential.
The suspension features leaf springs with shock absorbers at the rear, while the front is an independent system with torsion and stabiliser bar.
You'll learn to love the engine noise, because there is no radio. But, there is a 2-Din slot for an aftermarket radio.
Other features include hand-operated manual windows, air conditioning, two side-facing rear seats in the tray allowing for a seating capacity of six and a removable roof.
James Halliwell, Mahindra Australia's marketing manager, told CarAdvice that there's demand for the Thar locally, which is why Mahindra is investigating the option of creating a low volume importer's licence for the model.
“We are presently exploring the opportunity to bring Thar to Australia under the low import licence for Specialist and Enthusiasts,” he said.
“We have strong interest for this vehicle from recreational and rural customers and we currently sell Thar CRD in the neighboring New Zealand market, exactly for this reason.”
Arguably the coolest part about having the Thar locally would be the option to deck it out with Mahindra customisations from the factory.
The Mahindra Customisation arm gives customers the chance to fit things like bull bars, winches and big tyres from factory to give their car a unique edge.
"As confirmed by the Mahindra Customisation manager at the Dehli Auto Expo this week, the full range of Mahindra customization options are available to our Australian dealers through the Mahindra Parts System,” Halliwell said.
The reason it can't be used on public roads is due to the lack of safety features. The Thar has no airbags, no driver assist systems and questionable protrusions.
While Mahindra isn't certain on pricing yet, the vehicle is currently on sale in New Zealand with a price tag of around AUD$25,000.
Keep an eye out for our quick video drive of the Thar on Indian roads shortly.
Given there is a potential market for this car, would you like to see it makes its way to Australia?