There is a reason why indigenous auto brands like Mahindra are so extensively celebrated in our country and the reason is the foundations laid by their products in the past. Mahindra laid the foundation of Utility vehicles in the country at a time when it was needed the most. Mahindra was licensed to produce Willys Jeep CJ3B platform derived utility vehicles which served the Indian Armed forces, the Indian police force and government administrative departments for years. These vehicles were also admired by the general public at a time when personal motorised mobility was accessible to the masses.

Mahindra Logo
Mahindra Logo

Must read: Mahindra and Mahindra | The name you know, the history you don’t

Where it all started

It was during the 90s, years after the introduction of the Mahindra jeep in India, that the Indian automotive scenario gradually started to cater to the masses. And it was around this time when Mahindra decided to further evolve with their offerings into producing something that could be focused more towards the masses while sticking to their tried and tested underpinnings. And hence the Mahindra Armada was Born.

Mahindra Armada
Mahindra Armada | Source

The Origin of Mahindra Armada

The Armada was launched in the year 1993, it came in succession to the MM540 as its upsized version. Technically, the establishment of the Armada also began with the Jeep platform. It can be considered as the more urban-centric version of the Mahindra MM540 and MM775.

Like the MM775, the Armada had a hardtop body configuration but the built quality was much higher than what was offered with the previous hardtops based on the MM540. The Armada is one of the first vehicles in the country which brought together the MUV and SUV credentials in a single-vehicle.

It had the body structure of an off-roader SUV along with the long wheelbase and large two-box configuration cabin (estate type) of a MUV.

Read more: Mahindra Thar | The Jeep CJ Made For and Made In India

Mahindra Armada, in the flesh
Mahindra Armada, in the Flesh | Credits- Source

The Mahindra Armada was BIG!

The Armada was a Fairly large vehicle, with dimensions matching almost to the likes of the Innova Crysta we have today, which itself is a substantially sized vehicle. The Armada was basically a 2WD as it was made for the urban on-road driving but also came with an optional 4WD system.

It had 8-seater capacity with foldable rear benches just like the Tata Sumo (which was it’s rival back in the day). The interiors of the Armada was also a more practically laid out setup as opposed to its Utility focused ancestors.

It had smaller 15-inch wheels, suitable for the urban condition. All in all, the Mahindra Armada was a Utility vehicle designed to suit the general public and perform as a practical companion for their lifestyle.

Suggested More: 10 Things that make every Indian Just love Mahindra!

Mahindra Armada Dimensions

Length Width Height Wheelbase  Ground Clearance
Mahindra Armada (1993-2001) 4341mm 1800mm 1783mm  2680mm 175mm

Mahindra Armada | Engine Specifications

The early day utility vehicles in the country didn’t come equipped with monstrous turbodiesel engines that shoot for the stars as soon as you push the accelerator. Those were simpler times and that resonated with the technology the cars of that era had.

Mahindra Armada Engine bay
Mahindra Armada Engine bay

Mahindra Armada came with a Peugeot sourced 2.1 Litre diesel engine that produced 62HP and 120Nm of torque. These rather puny power figures could manage a top speed close to 115Km/h only for the vehicle that weighed close to 1500 Kg.

The Evolution of the Mahindra Armada (Armada Grand)

The Armada got a more luxurious variant, the Armada Grand, in 1998, it came with features like power windows, power steering, revised interiors, a new grille and also an electro-mechanical 4×4 drive selector.

Bolero
The Armada Grand was later renamed as Mahindra Bolero

The Armada Grand got an update in the year 2000, the Armada Grand LX, which at the time of launch was renamed as the Mahindra Bolero.

The Mahindra Bolero we know of today is based on the Mahindra Armada. The current Mahindra Bolero comes with a 1.5 Litre diesel engine producing 74HP and 210Nm of torque.

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