Force Gurkha is scheduled to be launched, or let us say, go on sale sometime next month and the company seems to be going through some last minute testing before the off-roader hits the stores.
This mule doing its routine test duties was snapped by us on Friday in Pune and there appear to be a couple (actually three) of changes which we can notice (as compared to the Gurkha we drove)…
- The position of the Brake lights and reverse light are interchanged. This may have been done to provide slightly better illumination while reversing and a more prominent and visible place for the brake lamps.
- Addition of wider side cladding, possibly to add more ruggedness to Gurkha’s looks.
- And the most interesting – We do not see the ‘4x’4×4’ logo on the side and instead it flaunts only the more sense-making 4×4. We are obviously not sure if this will percolate through to the production Gurkha or someone has just peeled off one ‘4’ from there! 😀
Gurkha was officially launched last year but it is yet to reach the showrooms for final sales. The company has been delaying it to remove all the kinks in its armour. Gurkha ended up impressing us big time when Team MotorBash, headed by our Editor Saad, took it out for a test drive at an exclusive off-road track inside Force Motors plant in Pune.
We are desperate to drive it again and see how many of the ‘minor’ & ‘major’ issues have been sorted out. Powering the off-roader is the 2.6L OM616 diesel mill sourced from Mercedes. The turbocharged engine churns out 82PS of power @3200rpm and 230 Nm of torque which would be available right from 1800rpm.
The transmission duties are administered by a 5 speed gearbox. Gurkha can wade through 550mm deep water and the main USP of the car are differential locks and crawling gear which would allow the off-roader to keep moving even if it has one or more wheels suspended in air.
The Gurkha was in news recently when it won the first ever Rainforest Challenge in India, securing the first as well as the second position, further proving its off-roading credentials. With Force Motors officially confirming start-of-sales for Gurkha from September deliveries can also be expected to begin somewhere around the same time.
There is also a word around that Gurkha will come with a BS4 compliant engine as well, this time. It is unclear if Force will work on the same 2.6L motor to make it adhering or we will have a new motor, possibly 2.2L FMTECH from One SUV.