Over the last few years, Mahindra has made it an annual exercise to make significant announcements regarding new vehicles on Independence Day. On the eve of the 76th Independence Day last year, Mahindra had announced plans to go electric in a big way with the debut of the dedicated, born-electric INGLO platform. This platform will be the base on which multiple body styles would be created with a similar battery-electric system underpinning these vehicles. This year’s Independence Day, the 77th, was dedicated by Mahindra to announce a slew of new vehicle plans which represent a taking forward of its electric plans, and a continuation of the company’s global ambitions in the ICE (internal combustion engine) space. Amongst the new concepts and vehicle prototypes that Mahindra showcased earlier this week include the Global ‘Pik Up’, a new electric concept built on the Thar blueprint, the brand’s much-loved off-roader sports utility vehicle, and a near production ready version of the BE05 — an electric concept first unveiled in London last year. 

Bearing very little resemblance to the ICE Thar, and already sporting five doors, the Thar.e is meant to showcase the strength of the upcoming Born Electric INGLO platform

Bearing very little resemblance to the ICE Thar, and already sporting five doors, the Thar.e is meant to showcase the strength of the upcoming Born Electric INGLO platform

Global Pik Up

Like last year, Mahindra’s showcase event for the Independence Day turned out to be an extravaganza of new unveils. Two of these are likely to make their debuts by the year 2025. The first could be its new Global Pik Up, the butch, classily finished concept that was shown at the signature Futurescape event in Cape Town. The concept based on the Scorpio-N and the same New-Gen Ladder Frame platform, represents a clear plan to enter newer international markets while strengthening Mahindra’s presence in existing ones, where the company already offers pick-ups like the Goa, and the previous Scorpio’s version of the Pik Up. Based on the more versatile platform, Mahindra says that the Global Pik Up promises to be one of the market’s most capable ones when it goes into production. 

Designed at Mahindra’s India Studio officials say that their R&D teams and engineers conducted thorough research to gain insights from multiple geographies, to design the new vehicle and for it to meet customer preferences. The Global Pik Up is meant to deliver both a lifestyle ownership experience and meet a utility-focused use case, and so it will be suitable for a wide range of applications. Though the fascia is very much like the Scorpio-N, the Global Pik Up model that was showcased is meant to present a slightly over-the-top design study, with its high-set snorkel, oversized body cladding, elongated load bed and tow hooks. Mahindra says that its exterior is built to withstand demanding conditions, while its interior offers comfort and ample space. What was presented was a dual-cab version, though a single cab version will probably also be offered. With its large cargo bed and towing capacity, the prototype displayed the kind of practical solutions it could offer, including transporting a boat to the lake, moving a horse trailer, or providing storage space for essential gear. 

Safety will also be a core focus, with the new-gen ladder frame, the Global Pik Up aims to meet global standards, including an NCAP 5-Star rating. The vehicle’s convenience and driving experience will be enhanced through innovative tech features, says Mahindra. Inside, the infotainment system and immersive audio kit would be appreciated by passengers. Mahindra’s intelligent 4Xplore four-wheel-drive system augments the Pik Up’s capabilities. For the powertrain options, Mahindra officials mention that the Gen-II mHawk diesel engine paired with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic from Aisin will be on offer. The next generation petrol engine being planned for the Scorpio will possibly also make it to the new Global Pik Up. Mahindra says that its goal is to make the pickup lifestyle accessible to a broad spectrum of consumers worldwide, democratising the experience. The initial launch will be in existing markets, including South Africa, Australia/ New Zealand, Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, and South-Central Asia. It will be launched later in ASEAN markets.

New ID for electric

Mahindra Electric Automobiles Limited (MEAL), a newly set-up subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra, also unveiled its distinctive new visual identity for the forthcoming range of Born Electric Vehicles. Looking like a stylised version of the infinity symbol, the new logo is also an alternate, futuristic version of the twin peaks logo that has adorned the company’s vehicles over the past two years. Mahindra officials point out that it also reimagines the Mahindra ‘M’ heritage for a modern audience and has connotations to and inspiration that have been drawn from the racetrack. The new EV-unique logo was revealed at the Mahindra Futurescape in Cape Town, South Africa. The new visual identity was introduced for the first time on the concept ‘Vision Thar.e’. The concept vehicle also showcased the ways by which the new logo could be presented to the onlooker in the form of unique backlit options.

Along with the unveiling of the new visual identity, Mahindra also launched an inspiring brand anthem and sonic identity. These were masterfully conceived in collaboration with music maestro and Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri recipient, and Oscar winner AR Rahman. Mahindra officials say that the new visual identity serves as a hallmark of quality and innovation for customers opting for electric vehicles. It encapsulates Mahindra’s ambition to lead in the electric vehicle revolution, providing a clear and unique value proposition for modern, eco-conscious consumers.

Thar.e concept

The Thar is a legendary brand name from Mahindra and the current model has racked up both the numbers of fans and owners for the off-roader. The company has also used the recall to expand its appeal by launching a 2WD version of the chunky three-door SUV. There is a whole bunch of buyers waiting in the wings for the 5-door version of the Thar. But in the meantime, at the Futurescape event in Cape Town Mahindra pulled the wraps off the Vision Thar.e, a reimagined electric version of the vehicle. Bearing very little resemblance to the ICE Thar, and already sporting five doors, the Thar.e is meant to showcase the strength of the upcoming Born Electric INGLO platform. Though Mahindra designers have sort of given the BE range of electrics and the ICE adapted platform XUV.e range a design direction, the Thar.e will be a completely different design study. 

Mahindra feels that the Thar.e’s one-of-a-kind modular construction and adaptable components position it uniquely in the electric SUV field. Though it looks more compact and narrower than the current Thar, the electric concept has the same robust design philosophy and aligns with the SUV brand’s appeal and confident presence. Suitability for all terrains will be ensured by the electric all-wheel drive capability. The design including its light elements, seems to have been inspired by many generations of great off-roaders and so the exposed hinges, the cut crevices on many panels and upright boxy stance are familiar, yet unique. The high ground clearance and exaggerated off-roading angles also deliver the potential for a vehicle on this concept study. 

Mahindra says that the Thar.e’s design forges its own innovative and distinctive trail. Yet it remains an authentic off-road SUV, maintaining the outdoorsy, explorative spirit of the brand. The crisp, geometric surfaces embody the robust ‘explore the impossible’ ethos, while features like near-vertical windows, vertical door handles etc are unique, maximize space and create a commanding presence. According to Mahindra’s presentation diagram, the Thar.e will be built on a customised version of the INGLO platform, but will have a longer wheelbase of up to 2,975mm and shorter overhangs. It is also capable of sporting a best-in-class off-roadability with high approach, departure, and ramp-over angles. A common front and rear powertrain motor set up (potentially sourced from Volkswagen) and the platform dictated skateboard style underfloor battery pack will be the Thar.e’s potential performance metrics. It could be offered with two different battery sizes with their own differing driving ranges. 

The interior blends minimalism with functionality, focusing on the essentials of off-road driving. Elements like a central pivoting screen, robust grab handles, and an uncluttered layout emphasise Thar.e’s practicality for both urban and off-road applications. Cabin fabrics are made of 50 per cent recycled PET and a commitment to uncoated recyclable plastics, Thar.e aligns with a philosophy where simplicity serves sustainability.

At the Cape Town event Mahindra also pulled the wraps off what could eventually lead to the pre-production version of the BE.05 compact electric SUV. The concept was showcased in UK last year, but this time the vehicle’s design elements and styling has been finetuned to the version that is closer to production. It is likely to make it to market by October 2025 and will be manufactured at the company’s upcoming Chakan plant dedicated for EVs.