Jeep already won one lawsuit.
The iconic status achieved by the one and only Jeep Wrangler makes it a prime target for competition. The reborn Ford Bronco is the best example and likely the Wrangler's most serious competitor in years. But that rivalry is just for the North American market. Overseas-only automakers are a different matter. Earlier this summer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles successfully defeated India's Mahindra in a legal fight over its plan to sell the Roxor open-air off-roader in the US. The Mahindra Roxor, even after a facelift, still looks awfully like the Jeep.
FCA, despite the fact the Roxor would not have been street-legal, fought tooth and nail against its importation, arguing in court its design was nearly identical to that of the Wrangler. The court agreed and Mahindra's plans were shelved.
However, that ruling does not apply to its native India. Introducing the all-new, second-generation Mahindra Thar. The first-gen Thar was sold from 2010 until this year and it was the same vehicle Mahindra tried to bring to the US, only changing its name to Roxor. Clearly, Mahindra's second-gen Thar continues to be a Jeep copycat.
The exterior design is remarkably similar from nearly every angle, though there is no four-door body style (yet). Mahindra describes the Thar as "A modern take on an iconic design… with its wide stance and iconic lines, stands out wherever it goes." Even the seven-slot front grille is an almost dead-ringer for the Wrangler's. It rides on a new off-road chassis and features electronic stability control, built-in roll cage, and enough safety to meet Indian market regulations.
The design similarities between it and the Wrangler continue inside, specifically the blocky dashboard and round vents. The rear seats can recline and there are even roof-mounted speakers. Hardtop, soft top, and a soft top with a folding down mechanism will be offered. Buyers will have a choice of two engines: a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four or a 2.2-liter turbo diesel, both of which can be paired to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Pricing has not been announced but it'll likely be very reasonable by Indian market standards.
There's no way Mahindra will even consider another attempt to sell its new Thar/Roxor in the US but if you're ever considering a move to India, it's probably one of the best off-roaders available.