Even though all-new Force Gurkha has been completely revamped, it retains its off-roading capabilities
After a number of delays, Force Motors recently unveiled the production-spec version of new-gen Gurkha. Price will be revealed on September 27 and deliveries will commence from October 15 (Dussehra).
Gurkha will rival new Thar that was launched last year in October. It’s a tough road ahead for new Gurkha, as Thar is currently the most popular SUV in its class. To understand its potential, here’s a quick comparison of Mahindra Thar Vs New Force Gurkha 4×4 SUV.
While both SUVs have a boxy profile, the styling appears more refined on Thar. These changes have been made on Thar to present it as a family SUV. In comparison, Gurkha comes across as a true-blue off-roader. It does get styling bits like circular LED DRLs around the headlamps.
But the massive bumper, blacked-out skid plate, flared wheel arches and flat front fascia ensure a more rugged profile for Gurkha. Other features like snorkel and roof mounted luggage carrier are likely to be offered as accessories.
Specs and features
Dimensionally, Gurkha is longer and taller than Thar. Gurkha measures 4116 mm in length and 2075 mm in height, as compared to 3985 mm and 1855 mm of Thar. Width is almost the same; 1812 mm for Gurkha and 1820 mm for Thar. At 2400 mm, Gurkha wheelbase is 50 mm shorter than Thar.
One of the distinctive advantages for Thar is its 5-star safety rating in Global NCAP crash tests. It is not certain when Gurkha will be tested by Global NCAP. However, it will be safe to assume that Force Motors has taken all the steps to make Gurkha compliant with latest safety standards.
Engine and off-roading capabilities
New Gurkha has the updated BS6 version of the 2.6 litre diesel motor that generates 89 bhp of max power and 250 Nm of peak torque. It is mated to a 5-speed Mercedes G-28 gearbox. It comes with cable shift and hydraulic clutch with booster for smoother gear shifts.
New Thar has two engine options, both of which have significantly more power output than Gurkha. The 2.2 litre mHawk diesel unit on-board Thar makes 130 bhp at 3750 rpm and 300 Nm at 1600-2800 rpm. The 2.0 litre mStallion petrol motor churns out 150 bhp at 5000 rpm and 300 Nm at 1250-3000 rpm. Torque is 320 Nm with automatic variant. Both engines get transmission options of 6-speed manual and 6-speed torque converter automatic.
Both Gurkha and Thar are offered in 4×4 configuration. Gurkha has manual locking differentials at front and rear that work independently. This makes it possible for Gurkha to tackle 35° gradients in 4×4 mode. When equipped with the snorkel, Gurkha’s water wading capability increases to 700mm.
Thar’s 4×4 system has high and low reduction transfer case. It is equipped with shift-on-fly electric driveline disconnect feature. Crawl ratio is 42:1 with power split of 50:50. As compared to Gurkha, Thar has mechanical locking differential for rear wheels. It is activated when the system detects wheel slip in excess of 100 rpm.
To make is accessible to a larger customer base, Force Motors is expected to launch all-new Gurkha at a competitive price point. Thar is available at a starting price of Rs 12.79 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi).