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Jeep-Like Mahindra Roxor, Target of FCA Infringement Complaint, Changes for 2020

Now, the not-street-legal off-roader looks a bit like an old Toyota FJ.

Greg FinkWriter

You might as well call the Mahindra Roxor off-road utility vehicle Raymond, because just about everybody loves it. Well, almost everybody. Predictably, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is less than enthused about the little off-road-only side-by-side and its mini-Jeep Wrangler-like appearance. FCA filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission alleging the Roxor infringes on the "trade dress" of Jeep, and, well the trucklet's multi-slat grille and two round headlights do look very . . . Jeep-ish.

While the ITC has yet to officially rule on its investigation, Mahindra isn't waiting around for a response to the Commission's pending review of the matter. The company has (preemptively) updated the styling of the Roxor for 2020. In place of the model's previous Jeep CJ-like mug, the 2020 Roxor wears a face that combines elements of the 40-series Toyota Land Cruiser with cues from the Nash-Healey roadster of the 1950s. The new maw certainly has less Jeep in it, but we hardly think it's less attractive for it. 

The updated Roxor's appeal goes beyond its styling. Mahindra's wee four-wheel-drive utility vehicle benefits from improved off-road performance, thanks to shorter new 5.38:1 axle ratios that replace the prior model's 3.73:1 gears. With the 62-hp turbodiesel 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine's mighty 144 lb-ft of torque available from as low as 1,400 rpm working in tandem with the standard five-speed manual or available six-speed automatic transmission and two-speed transfer case (and 9 inches of ground clearance) the Roxor is a proper rock-crawler.

Unfortunately, off-road is where it has to stay, as the $16,599 Mahindra, which tops out at 55 mph, is not street legal. While the Roxor's refreshed face might help pacify FCA, it won't prevent authorities from citing individuals who dare to drive the little trucklet on public roads. Turns out every Raymond has a Robert.