Ramkripa Ananthan, head of design at Mahindra & Mahindra, sits down with CDN editor James McLachlan to discuss the Thar – India’s beloved off-roader. The history of the model stems back to the 1950s when Mahindra started building the CJ3B 4x4 for its armed forces.

Ananthan outlines the trick of drawing on the heritage of the car while also ensuring it is modern and fresh. “We lifted the hood for better strength protection, which also made the model look more tough and capable,” she explains. “This added a newness that wasn’t there in the old Thar. We added this taut hexagonal body side section, while the old Thar had flat sides with embosses. This [also] gave the design some modernity and toughness.”