While side-by-side vehicles continue to reshape the ATV landscape, segment newcomer Mahindra is making a play for buyers seeking a more traditional all-purpose utility vehicle. In other words, check out this sweet mini Jeep.
Okay, we’re being a bit facetious, but in this hemisphere, the sight of an open-top steel body with an upright grille and flattop fenders on a boxed ladder frame with four-by-four capability makes Jeep comparisons inevitable. Considering that the Indian automaker got its start by importing and later building Willys Jeeps under license after World War II, the similarities should come as little surprise. Car dorks of the sort that populate the C/D offices will be quick to point out that the Roxor resembles the megarare Alfa Romeo 1900M Matta 4×4; those with truly arcane tastes will name-check the Crosley Farm-O-Road. By the looks of the dimensions below, the Roxor’s 148-inch length–including the spare tire–puts it in league with the approximately 139-inch long Jeep CJ7. Mahindra said the base curb weight is 3035 pounds.
Similarly, the Roxor’s powertrain is about as conventional as they come; forgoing the CVT and belt-drive setup favored by many ATVs, the Roxor uses a heavy-duty Mahindra turbo-diesel 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 62 horsepower and 144 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission routes torque to a Dana T18 two-speed transfer case, and 3.73 gears spin in full-floating front and rear axles suspended on leaf springs. There are 9.0-inch disc brakes in the front and 11.0-inch drums in the back. Ground clearance is 9.0 inches. The 16-inch wheels (steel is standard, while aluminum rims are optional) are wrapped in 235/70R-16 tires. Top speed is limited to 45 mph, Mahindra said, because “This is a suitable speed limit given how most consumers are likely to be using the vehicle.” The maker claims preliminary fuel economy results of 32 to 34 mpg and gives a maximum tow rating of 3490 pounds.
Mahindra managing director Pawan Goenka said the Roxor remains true to the company’s legacy of “authentic, rugged, purpose-driven vehicles” and that it will be built with durability in mind. The maker hasn’t yet revealed any pricing information, but does note that the Roxor is classified as an off-highway vehicle. How that will play into legalities regarding licensing, insurance and on-road use, as with golf carts and ATVs, will be determined mostly by local rules and regulations.
Conceived, designed, engineered and produced in Metro Detroit, the Roxor is the maker’s first foray into the consumer ATV market. Previously in the news for its purchase of storied design house Pininfarina and its U.S. Postal Service vehicle prototype, Mahindra Automotive North America will build the Roxor at its recently opened 400,000-square-foot manufacturing center in suburban Detroit’s Auburn Hills. Mahindra is still in the process of signing up dealers, claiming it is nearing the 300 mark as of March 2, 2018. We’ve already began pestering Mahindra for a test vehicle to get an idea of just how much abuse this little Jeeplet can take.