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The 96-in (2438-mm) wheelbase Mahindra Roxor off-road vehicle has a ground clearance of 9 in (229 mm). (All images: Kami Buchholz)

Mahindra Automotive debuts first North American off-road vehicle

Although it derives from the Mahindra Thar on-road vehicle sold in India and elsewhere in Asia, the Roxor is strictly an off-road vehicle for North America.

“The Roxor is intended for people who want an authentic, back-to-basics, tough and rugged product that will serve them for many years,” Rick Haas, President and CEO of Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA), said in an interview with Truck & Off-Highway Engineering at the Roxor’s Auburn Hills, Michigan, unveiling in March.

Both the Roxor and Thar share visual similarities with the original Willys vehicle. India-based Mahindra Group’s automotive business launched with a licensing agreement to build Willys vehicles for the Asia region after World War II.

Compared to the Thar, the Roxor has a de-contented interior and a different electrical system. The basic size of both vehicles is the same. Roxor’s length is 148 in (3759 mm), height is 75 in (1905 mm), and width is 62 in (1575 mm). Thar is right-hand drive, while the Roxor is a left-hand-drive vehicle.

To meet off-highway requirements, the way that the box steel frame is mounted to the steel body is different. “Roxor has to pass a very severe rollover test, so we’ve had to connect the rollover cage right into the frame,” Haas said.

Roxor employs a rigid leaf spring front suspension with a stabilizer bar and a leaf spring with double acting hydraulic shock absorbers in the rear. The hydraulic power steering 4WD vehicle has a full-floating front axle (3.73:1) and a semi-floating rear axle (3.73:1).

The vehicle is powered by a 2.5-L turbodiesel, direct-injection 4-cylinder Mahindra engine (m2DiCR) that produces 62 hp (46 kW) at 3200 rpm and 144 lb·ft (195 N·m) at 1400-2200 rpm. Engine mates to a Mahindra 5-speed manual transmission. “It’s a conventional automotive-style transmission. Most vehicles in the side-by-side segment use a CVT (continuously variable transmission),” Haas said.

Towing capacity for the 3035-lb (1377-kg) base curb weight Roxor is 3490 lb (1583 kg). The vehicle’s maximum towing speed is 15 mph (24 km/h). Maximum speed is 45 mph (72 km/h).

Roxor is assembled at MANA’s 150,000-ft2 (13,935-m2) facility in Auburn Hills, Michigan, from complete knock-down kits. All Roxors are painted in-house. “Some of the parts, such as brake lines, are manufactured in this [Michigan] facility. As we move forward, we’ll have dozens and dozens of things available as add-on equipment,” Haas said.

The vehicle is offered in a base version and limited edition (LE) model through Mahindra’s newly launched powersports dealer network. MSRP of the base Roxor is $15,549.

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