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Thar it is! Mahindra's Jeep Wrangler-inspired SUV morphs into futuristic electric car

The Thar.e concept could preview an all-electric off-roader from Mahindra.

Mahindra could further distance itself from its Jeep Wrangler inspiration with an all-electric version of the Thar SUV previewed in a new concept called Vision Thar.e.

Though yet to be officially confirmed for production, the Vision Thar.e was unveiled in Cape Town next to the Global Pik Up concept that will morph into Mahindra’s Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux rival.

Looking more like a cross between the Ford Bronco and something Master Chief would drive in the Halo video game, the Vision Thar.e features a similar boxy silhouette as the internal combustion-engined (ICE) off-roader, but with added futuristic flare.

The vertical front grille is gone in favour of a closed-off design, but the three light-up bars positioned next to the Thar.e badge still pay homage to the former.

Flanking the grille are two square LED headlights shaped like crosshairs, while a chunky bumper with prominent bash plate also features to denote the Thar.e’s off-road intentions.

Likewise, the all-terrain tyres, beefy underbody protection and squared-off wheelarches also hint at the electric Mahindra’s ability to get down and dirty.

The doors also feature strap-like hinges and hidden handles for a tough but clean overall aesthetic.

Despite the rugged look however, it’s reported that the Thar.e will not ride on a ladder-frame chassis, but instead is built on Mahindra’s INGLO electric car architecture that underpins five new battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

However, what isn’t clear is exactly what is powering the all-electric Indian SUV.

Does it have dual-electric motors for all-wheel-drive traction? How big is the battery? What about driving range and recharging capabilities? All is unknown for now.

Mahindra is quick to point out the Thar.e’s sustainability credentials though, with the interior featuring 50 per cent recycled materials that alights with the brand’s “philosophy where simplicity serves sustainability”.

As for the ICE Thar, it is expected an updated and redesigned version will surface soon, which will clear the model of any Wrangler copycat claims and pave the way for its 2025 Australian introduction.

It’s expected the new-generation SUV will be bigger than before, and feature improvements to interior comfort and refinement as it targets the adventure family SUV market dominated by the Toyota Prado.

Of course, a ladder-frame chassis with 4WD capabilities is expected, while speculation points to the Scorpio’s 129kW/400Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine as a potential powertrain.