One of the best features of this SUV is its differential locks which is there in its both front & rear axles that helps it take up muddy and tough terrains with ease. Its off road abilities is one of the best in the segment. I wish Force would have come up with better looks for this muscular machine and of course better interiors too.
The SIAM International Bus and Utility show 2013, in February at Greater Noida, marked the launch of Force Gurkha which is the evolved form of Gurkha that was in sale during 2008 to 2010. The off-road vehicle is for the extremely adventurous and is manufactured at the Pithampur plant of the company near Indore.
The SUV has an overall rugged appeal. Influenced by G-Wagon by Mercedes Benz; Gurkha has a huge grill on the front-side and plastic work on the doors and wheel arcs. The product is slightly classy due to its 5 spoke alloy wheels and the floor boards. To prevent damage the propeller shafts, fuel tank and under belly shafts have an extra safeguard. To make the product irresistible and separate water from engine, the snorkel intake has been provided.
Despite of lacking basic comforts, the product has a functionally basic interior. The hard top versions provide for an air conditioning system. The driver has choice to choose 4×2 High, 4×4 Low or 4×4 High by using the 2 levers apart from the gear knob. Among all the variants the power steering is common. The information display in the instrument has bare essentials such as temperature, fuel level and speed, lacking other interesting things which could have been incorporated. Apart from this the placement of Tachometer is under the vents of the air conditioner. The top variants have 5 forward facing seats like a bus but the soft top in the rear has longitudinal sears and can adjust 6 people.
The 2.6- litre engine comes copied from Mercedes Benz OM616. To roam on toughest terrains comfortably the turbocharged and inter cooled unit functions at 80.5bhp and 230Nm torque. Again the gearbox has been derived from Mercedes Benz which is G1-18 5-speed. The product appears in 2 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive versions. The 4 wheel drive has differential locks over axles. Further, there is a ladder frame with a solid torsion bar at the front with independent suspension. The uniqueness of the SUV lies in its low NVH and all terrain tubeless radial tires.
The single hydraulically actuated clutch vehicle comes with a seating capacity of 4; a power capacity of 3200 rpm and a displacement of 2596cc with a power steering. The product is loaded with a direct injection TD 2650 FTI BS-III Turbo engine. Mahindra’s Thar and Maruti Suzuki Gypsy serve as the product’s main competitors. The product is available in 3 paint options dragon red, copper green and matte black. The axle ratio for both front and rear remain at 4.375 with differential locks. The front of the vehicle is enabled with independent suspension with hydraulic telescopic shock absorbers and the rear comes with semi elliptical leaf spring and anti roll bar.
The product comes in 3 variants. The 2WD soft top comes at Rs. 6.25 lakh. The 4WD soft top and 4WD hard top versions come at Rs. 8.35 Lakh and 8.5 Lakh off-road respectively.
The 4X4x4 SUV is an ultimate off-road product with a rugged appeal accompanied by an affordable price. The Daimler engine makes the product indigenous. The only negative that is the traditional old design which might not appeal to all the buyers.