India's answer to the Jeep Wrangler is undergoing local testing ahead of its Australian release later this year.
- shares

The 2021 Mahindra Thar has been spied undergoing testing on Australian roads.

Mahindra's new Thar was officially unveiled in August 2020, revealing a design which shared more than a passing resemblance to the Jeep TJ Wrangler.

The Indian car maker is hoping the new Thar will enjoy some of the runaway success of the Suzuki Jimny, with the short-wheelbase SUV offering real off-road capability thanks to its part-time four-wheel drive, low-range gearbox, and rear differential lock.

A spokesperson for Mahindra's Australian arm confirmed to CarAdvice the Thar is currently undergoing local testing, with this mule snapped by Nick Zeek yesterday.

At its release, the all-new Thar was announced with both a 112kW/320Nm 2.0-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder and a 97kW/320Nm 2.2-litre turbo diesel, both with either a six-speed manual or six-speed torque-converter automatic. Though there's no word on whether Australian buyers will be offered both powertrains.

The Thar comes with two airbags, anti-lock braking, electronic brake-force distribution, electronic stability control with roll-over mitigation, hill-hold, and hill descent control, and has a removable hard-top and doors, with a soft-top roof available.

Tech comes by way of a 7.0-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as displaying tyre pressures, pitch and roll angle, gear indicator, wheel angle indicator, and a digital compass.

Further proving its off-road capabilities, the Thar has a wading depth of 650mm (double that found in the Jimny), offers IP54 dust and water resistance for its interior controls, and has hoseable floors with drain plugs.

While dates have yet to be confirmed by the brand, expect to see a local launch of the Mahindra Thar before the end of 2021.