Indian manufacturer Mahindra, is well known around the globe for their farm equipment, big rig trucks and has been a manufacturer of Jeep’s under license from Jeep for several decades. In the United States, Mahindra is trying to push their line of utility vehicles or UTVs in the off-road market. Enter the new Mahindra Roxor. This “side-by-side” looks virtually identical to a Jeep CJ-5.
The Roxor is powered by a Mahindra 2.5-liter direct injection turbo diesel engine that makes 63 horsepower and 144 lb.-ft. of torque. The Roxor has a Peugeot sourced NGT520 5-speed manual transmission. It features a 2-speed manual transfer case, which is based on the Dana-18 and a speed limited capability of 45mph (the Indian version can do 80mph) to meet the United States UTV regulations rules.
Offered in four different trim levels, the Roxor provides a wide range of models for the UTV enthusiast. There is the Base (Classic), Base 2 (Classic 2), Limited Edition (LE) and Special Edition (SE). There is only 300 of the Special Editions that are being made. Mahindra will also be selling a trim level called the Dune Edition (Dune).
The LE package includes a 8,000lb WARN winch, windshield, lightbar, bikini soft top, grab loops, mirrors, off-road bumpers and MTX bluetooth sound bar.Wheel choices include a 16-inch 5.5 lug wheel in either steel or aluminum wheels with 235/70 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires or standard tire choice.
This vehicle is virtually a modern take on the CJ-5. With licensing rights dating back to when Willy-Overland owned the Jeep brand, you would think Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) would be flattered that the Mahindra brand is creating such a vehicle. Well not exactly. FCA has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission and is seeking an investigation and eventual order barring the company from assembling the vehicle in the United States.
Yes, the Roxor is assembled in the United States. Matter of fact, the Roxor is produced less than a few miles from the FCA Chrysler Tech Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Import Roxor kits are imported from India and assembled in Michigan. Mahindra said that company plans on producing a street-legal version for sales in the United States.
FCA’s complaint argues that, while Mahindra has had prior agreements with Jeep’s previous owners to build and sell products in India, it has no ongoing rights to the company’s intellectual property or approval to sell vehicles using it in the U.S.
The Indian manufacturer issued a statement calling the complaint baseless and noting a “historic relationship and agreements with FCA and it’s predcessors that goes back 70 years”.
While the Roxor is priced from about $15,000 to about $20,000, it is still about $7,500 under the base price of a 2018 Jeep Wrangler Sport 2-door.
Autoblog recently reviewed the Roxor and stated “it is a whole lot cheaper than a new Wrangler… so if you want a cool little off-roader, but don’t need it to be a daily driver, the Roxor is a cool way to go”. We are sure FCA do not like comments like that being said about it’s beloved Wrangler.
The filing lays out the key design features of the Roxor that FCA says may confuse consumers, including the boxy shape, flat hood and round headlamps that are incorporated into Jeep’s “trade dress.”