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Mahindra Adventure launches its second Off-Road Training Academy in the nation to train off-road enthusiasts. The new Off-Road Training Academy is located at Mangalore in the state of Karnataka and aims to make off-road training more accessible to those interested.
Mahindra Adventure has been at the forefront of organising off-road drives, competitions, and even expeditions for a long time now. Mahindra Adventure is a part of Mahindra Automotive and was formally started in 2011, though it had been organising off-road events since 1996.
It was in 2012 that Mahindra set up a dedicated facility to train people in the art of off-road driving. This was Mahindra's flagship Off-Road Training Academy, located at Igatpuri in Maharashtra.
We took part in one of the courses and found it to be very useful in improving driving skills. Mahindra Adventure has decided to expand their base and reach more people interested in off-roading.
The second Off-Road Training Academy located in Mangalore is based on the same principles as the one at Igatpuri, but is now on a larger scale. The Mahindra Adventure Off-Road Training Academy in Mangalore is located at the campus of Pana Education. Pana Education is a Mangalore-based educational institution which has a range of educational courses all in the same campus, ranging from play school till undergraduate courses.
The new Mahindra Adventure Off-Road Training Academy has been formed in partnership with Pana Education and makes use of their 150-acre campus. Just to draw a comparison, the flagship academy at Igatpuri is spread over a total area of 28-acres.
The Off-Road Training Academy at Mangalore is a partnership with Pana Education in which the cars, equipment and trainers are all from Mahindra Adventure while only the location is provided by Pana Education.
Mahindra Adventure has a dedicated fleet of SUVs for the academy at Mangalore which includes the Mahindra Thar and Mahindra Scorpio. The SUVs have only been modified slightly to allow for daily off-road usage.
The front bumper has been removed, the suspension has been altered and the cars are equipped with a snorkel air intake system. All SUVs used by the academy are equipped with tough roll cages that keep occupants safe in case of a roll-over.
The Mahindra Thar is powered by a 2.5-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine with a maximum power output of 105bhp and a peak torque output of 247Nm. The Mahindra Scorpio on the other hand is powered by a 2.2-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine with a maximum power output of 140bhp and a peak torque output of 320Nm.
The previous generation Mahindra Scorpio used by Mahindra Adventure is powered by the same engine but with a lower power output of 120bhp. What is common across all vehicles though is a four-wheel-drive system with low ratio gearboxes for hardcore off-road usage.
A select few did get to experience the 5.5-kilometre long trail at the Mahindra Adventure Off-Road Training Academy in Mangalore. At first, we drove over the axle twisting section called the SUV challenge and cocked wheels a several times while trying to dodge huge boulders.
The boulders had to be driven over in order to avoid them from hitting vital parts like the oil sump, gearbox, etc. There were however, quite a few parts hitting the rocks and mud at a few places as the terrain was very rough.
This however had absolutely no effect on the performance of the Mahindra Thar and the Scorpio. It was after this that we hit the main trail. It included steep inclines, declines, boulders, etc while driving up and down hillocks.
It guarantees brilliant views all around and sometimes an aircraft or two flies overhead as the Mangalore international airport is in the vicinity. The whole experience gets better or scarier depending on your adrenaline threshold when it rains, as the mud turns into slush.
The instructors at the Mahindra Adventure Off-Road Training Academy in Mangalore would initially fly down from the flagship academy at Igatpuri. However, the academy at Mangalore will soon get dedicated trainers and instructors.
The same courses available at Igatpuri will also be available in Mangalore. Level 1 is a one-day course called ‘Getting Dirty' and it can accommodate even those who have never driven off the beaten path before.
Level 2 is a two-day course called ‘Trail Survivor' which is a more complicated and in-depth course. It costs Rs 7,500 per head for Level 1 and Rs 17,500 for Level 2 which also includes the overnight accommodation.
Thoughts On Mahindra Adventure Off-Road Training Academy At Mangalore
Mahindra Adventure has over the last six years trained around 3,000 people in their off-road courses at the flagship academy at Igatpuri. With the new academy now functioning at Mangalore, mahindra Adventure would be able to train more people in the art of off-road driving.
Mahindra Adventure plans to branch out into the four corners of the country and set up Off-Road Training Academies in the North, South, East and West zones. The Mahindra Adventure Off-Road Training Academy in Mangalore would help cover the Southern zone.