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The desert rider

The jeep rides into a new phase with the Mahindra Thar Adventure

Written by Sutirtha Sanyal |
January 17, 2010 5:45:46 pm

The jeep rides into a new phase with the Mahindra Thar Adventure
THE jeep or rather the GP — as it was originally known — has come a long way since it first appeared during WWII. From duties on the frontline to being the ultimate statement of machismo,the jeep has been on a long path of change. The latest stage in this evolution seems to be the Mahindra Thar Adventure.

But the new model — recently launched in Italy and South Africa — won’t be anywhere close to the iconic Willys MB model or even the popular Mahindra Classic as this off-roader is based on the long-wheelbase platform of the MM 540 — the exterior styling is original to the MM540,complete with a soft-top and a hinged windshield. That will be the standard model available at the dealerships after its India launch in a few months. It was launched abroad as a standard 1+1 seater Left Hand Drive (LHD),but will be launched here as a seven-seater Right Hand Drive (RHD).

The new generation turbo-charged intercooler Euro-IV engine is,however,anything remotely close to the original. The 2498 cc NEF CRDe (Common Rail Diesel engine) is the same mill that powered the earlier Scorpio,but delivers more torque,generating a maximum power of 105 HP. The 4WD off-roader comes with an Independent Front Suspension with torsion bar and stabiliser and a full floating front axle and a standard semi floating axle at the rear. The vehicle carries a 5-speed gear box with Borg Warner transfer case for 4WD and comes with a two-speed gear reduction. It can be driven as 2WD under city conditions.

Though Mahindra hasn’t given a final picture on the features or price for India,it is expected that the off-roader won’t have either an AC or airbags. However,a power steering and anti-lock braking system (ABS) could be standard fitment. The vehicle will be available in four colours- Black,Toreador Red,Misty Silver and Arctic White.

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Customisation can be done as an aftermarket option at Mahindra itself. Buyers can spend some extra dough on bull-bars,rolls on bars (after stripping the soft-top),winch and pulley for use in towing,alloy wheels and extra wide tyres,customised bucket seats and halogen lamps.
Now,the wait begins.

HOW many times have you felt that the electronically adjustable seats or the power windows in your car are not up to the mark? Well,don’t worry,for Brose is here.
Brose’s front seat structures have motors that enable the user to electronically adjust the seat to 11 seating positions depending on user requirements. The use of light-weight materials makes them as light as manual ones. The rear seat structures can be folded individually,providing more storage space.
Brose also plans to market its unique window systems for car manufacturers. In any normal car,the door consists of two panels — an outer shell and the inner panel. The window regulator is fitted between the two panels by way of a roller-hinge mechanism. The heavy weight of the glass or the inferior quality of the regulator (which are generally supplied by vendors) often results in vibrations while the windows are being rolled.
The Brose door module system replaces the entire inner panel with either steel,plastic or aluminium plate with a magnesium frame and integrates the window regulator system with complex electronics and a jigsaw of mechanism between the two panels. The result is a robust window rolling system that also comes with enhanced features like a sun-blind and safety anti-pinch mechanisms.
Brose’s unique anti-pinch mechanism prevents a window from rolling up the moment it detects any obstruction,like a child’s palm jutting out of the window frame.
Though primarily focussing on the car market,the company wants to tap the Indian commercial vehicle segment too in the near future. The century-old German company will soon start its production facility near Pune for the export as well as the domestic market.

The Jeep story
WHEN the US Army asked American automobile companies to tender suggestions for a lightweight cross-country 4X4 reconnaissance vehicle during World War II,three firms came forward with their bids. They were the American Bantam Car Company,Ford Motor Company and Willys-Overland Motors.
Bantam was the first to submit its prototype — the Bantam BRC — but due to its financial instability to deliver such a huge order on time,the war department asked Ford and Willys-Overland to continue with their pilot models. The Willys Quad,Ford Pygmy and Bantam BRC,which had by now evolved into the BRC 60,competed at the trials. All companies were given orders to deliver 1,500 vehicles each. Willys came out with the MA (military model A) and Ford with GP (G for government and P for passenger vehicle).
Finally,the war department decided to standardise the vehicle and supply the next order to a single manufacturer. Willys won the contract and came out with the iconic MB model. Later,Ford was also given the contract to produce the vehicle after Willys failed to keep up with the production demand. Ford came out with the GPW model (W referring to the Willys licensed design). Mahindra started manufacturing jeeps in India under licence from Willys in the Sixties.

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First published on: 17-01-2010 at 05:45:46 pm

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