Mahindra Roxor changes just enough to beat Jeep's challenge

Many people were excited at the prospect of a cheap, Jeep-like off-road vehicle like the Mahindra Roxor. The vehicle entered the United States and was preparing to go on sale when Jeep filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission claiming the Roxor looked too much like the Wrangler. Mahindra has now changed its small off-road vehicle just enough to clear ITC hurdles.Mahindra has been cleared to manufacture and sell the redesigned 2021 Roxor as of Wednesday of this week. The company issued a statement on December 23 saying it had prevailed in the trade dress ruling against Jeep. The company says the 2021 Roxor does not infringe on the "Jeep Trade Dress" as claimed by FCA.

The latest ruling comes after the ITC previously ruled that Mahindra wasn't infringing on any FCA registered trademarks. Mahindra says it aims the Roxor at people with active outdoor lifestyles. Roxor promises to be a capable off-road vehicle sized similarly to a side-by-side off-road vehicle rather than a Jeep.

As of writing, the Roxor configurator is still shut down. Mahindra notes on the page that when the 2021 Roxor enters production, the configurator will be enabled. Before the Roxor ran afoul of Jeep's legal team, it was available at $15,500 for starters. One caveat is that the vehicle isn't road legal.

That means it can't be driven on streets in most areas and is intended as a vehicle for off-road use and working on farms and other locations. It promised to be more rugged than other side-by-side vehicles with a steel body on a boxed steel frame and a 2.5-liter turbo-diesel engine. The little engine makes only 62 horsepower and 144 pound-foot of torque. The Roxor weighs a bit over 3000 pounds and should be plenty capable off-road.