There’s renewed interest in Jonga with cricketing icons like Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suryakumar Yadav adding it to their car collection
With its unique, hard-to-miss profile and historical importance, Nissan Jonga is a perfect fit for any car collection. The off-roader was manufactured for the Indian Army several decades earlier and was in active service till 1999. For a short period, Jonga was also made available for the general public. However, the civilian variant was discontinued due to low sales.
In present times, Jongas are back in demand. A number of old Jongas have been refurbished and sold to car enthusiasts and collectors. Another option is to modify an existing car and transform it into a Jonga. This is exactly what Punjab-based Maan Modifiers has done, wherein a Mahindra Bolero has been converted into a Jonga.
This modification project has been executed in such a flawless manner that it’s difficult to tell that the donor vehicle is a Bolero. The final version is an exact replica of the original Jonga. Some signature features include the Jonga logo, square grille with mesh and slats, round headlamps, dual hooks and a powerful winch.
The vehicle has a pointy, triangular-shaped bonnet and dual rectangular flat windscreen. The massive protruding bumper at front seems capable of taking on any type of obstacles that cross its path. In a way, it actually seems offensive in the context of new pedestrian safety norms. The large off-road tyres further enhance the vehicle’s badass character.
At the sides, the custom built Jonga has big fenders, large rear-view mirrors, a fully functional roof rack, and running board. At the rear, the cargo bed has been converted into an enclosed storage space. On top is another rack with spare tyre. The vehicle has much higher ground clearance as compared to standard Bolero. This is possible with the larger wheels and some tweaks to the suspension system.
Good thing for enthusiasts is that this is not a standalone project. Anyone who wants a Jonga can get it made by the modifier. The cost of this modification is around Rs 11 lakh. This includes the cost of Bolero.
In case Bolero is provided, then cost is about Rs 6-7 lakhs. It seems justifiable, as the vehicle has been completely transformed. The modification takes about 4 months to complete. They also offer the original Nissan Jonga modified as new, for a cost of about Rs 13-16 lakhs.
This Jonga gets power from mHawk75 1.5-litre diesel motor that makes 75 hp of max power at 3,600 rpm and 210 Nm of peak torque at 1,600-2,200 rpm. It is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. In comparison, the original Jonga utilized a 3956 cc in-line, 6-cylinder petrol engine. It generated 110 hp and was mated to a 3-speed manual gearbox.
It is to note that Jonga stands for Jabalpur Ordnance aNd Guncarriage Assembly. It was manufactured by Vehicle Factory Jabalpur. Acquisition of such vehicles had become important for the country after the Sino-Indian War in 1962. Nissan had provided an exclusive license in 1965 to manufacture Jonga. In present times, much of the Jongas have been replaced with Mahindra MM540 jeep.