No, Jeep is not rebuilding the classic Willys Jeep for the 21st century. What you're seeing here is actually Mahindra's idea for a no non-sense go anywhere off-roader that sticks to simplicity and robustness. It's called the Roxor and it's ready to give the US market a taste of simpler, back-to-basics 4x4 mobility.
“Mahindra’s 70-year automotive history has been forged by making authentic, rugged, purpose-driven vehicles; Roxor is the embodiment of this history and our brand,” said Pawan Goenka, Mahindra Managing Director.
Despite being all-new, the Mahindra Roxor is built on tried-and-tested designs. It features a body-on-frame construction, a body made out of steel and a rugged turbo-diesel powertrain mated to a manual gearbox. In addition, the Roxor was conceived, engineered and is being produced by the company in Metro Detroit by Mahindra North America (MANA).
Design-wise, the Roxor pays homage to both the iconic World War II Willys Jeep, as well as the classic Jeep CJ models that succeded it. Round headlights and a prominent steel bumper is present at the front while square taillights make their home at the rear. The Roxor also comes with hood latches, unique alloy wheels and rugged seats geared for the outdoors.
Under the hood is not a six-cylinder engine. Instead, the humble Roxor is powered by a 2.5-liter inline-four diesel engine. It then produces 62 PS along with 144 Nm of torque and is mated to a five-speed manual transmssion and 4x4 system. Weighing in at 1,361 kg, the Roxor only has a top speed of 72 km/h which makes it technically too slow for US roads, making it not road legal.
But Mahindra had this exactly in mind. The Roxor is aimed squarely for those that want a basic and rugged 4x4 that they can use off-road and nothing else.
“The Roxor creates a new sub-segment in the Side x Side industry, and the response we’re getting from our newly appointed dealer body has been really outstanding. We have a National Dealer Meeting scheduled on March 18-20th, in San Antonio, Texas, where we’ll sit down and discuss the roll-out and future product offerings. We’re approaching our goal of 300 '1st wave' dealers, and expect that we’ll reach this target between now and the end of the show,” said Rick Haas, MANA President and CEO.
MANA is part of the $19B Mahindra Group and recently opened a new North American Automotive headquarters and manufacturing center in Auburn Hills, Michigan. MANA’s new operation is the central component of the 400,000 sq. ft. footprint Mahindra now has in Metro Detroit, and is the first OEM manufacturing/assembly facility to open operations in Southeast Michigan in over 25 years.
There is no word if Mahindra will offer the Roxor outside the US market.