With turbo petrol engine, automatic transmission and new equipment, Mahindra Thar has moved far ahead compared to Force Gurkha
It has been almost a year since the new generation Force Gurkha off-roader made its debut at the Auto Expo 2020. Initially scheduled to launch later in the year, the SUV’s progress to the market was hampered by 2020 being 2020.
With things easing up a bit and auto industry showing signs of recovery, Force Motors has resumed final stages of testing and the vehicle has been caught on tape without any camouflage. Hat tip to Neelesh Bajaj for sharing the video.
New Force Gurkha
The latest crash test and BS6 emission regulations meant the long running ladder-frame off-roader was due for a overhaul. The new model retains the core values of its predecessor while also improving significantly in several departments. The latest spy shots also reveal exterior accessories that are on offer with 2021 Force Gurkha. Video is credit to Youtube channel Studious Wanderer.
Visually, the Gurkha retains the boxy styling that derives its roots from the iconic Mercedes G-Wagon. Key visual elements include circular LED DRLs, an updated grille and bumper, trademark snorkel, dual-tone alloy wheels, larger rear windshield and new combination lights. Bold exterior colour options are expected to be on offer.
The interior too has been thoroughly revamped. The new dashboard is a marked improvement over the old one but it still has a utilitarian appeal. Top-end models offer touchscreen infotainment system. While its primary rival, the new Mahindra Thar, offers forward-facing rear seats and soft roof option, the Gurkha continues to stick to longitudinal benches and hard roof configuration.
The final powertrain specifications have not been officially confirmed yet but the off-roader is likely to adopt a BS6 version of the 2.6-liter Mercedes derived diesel engine which produces a modest 90 hp and 280 Nm of torque. The new Mahindra Thar on the other hand offers a much more powerful diesel engine alongside a turbocharged petrol option with automatic transmission.
So, clearly, the Force SUV is lagging behind the competition quite significantly even with its latest iteration. A 5-speed manual is likely to be the only transmission option to be on offer. The higher variants will come equipped with 4×4 system with a low-ratio transfer case. The Force Gurkha has established itself as one of the most capable off-roaders in the country and the new gen model is expected to do things even better.
The new Force Gurkha is expected to have a starting price point above INR 10 lakh (ex-showroom). Force Motors would be aiming to undercut the new Thar by a significant margin to compensate for the lack of equipment and power.
The Gurkha will continued to be pitched as a lifestyle off-roader and is not likely to be a volume generator for the brand. Force recently updated its Trax family with BS6 engines and is also working on launching the next generation Traveller.