Snapshot: Force Motors has deferred the launch of the rebadged Mercedes Benz Vito MPV to 2015, from 2014. The Indian automaker plans to begin retailing the Gurkha in January 2014.

Mercedes Benz Vito Image

Mercedes Benz Vito used as an illustration

Citing a slow car market, Indian commercial vehicle giant Force Motors has deferred plans of launching the re-badged Mercedes Benz Vito in India during 2014. The MPV, which currently has been put on hold, is likely to be launched in 2015. The 9 seat MPV was said to be a premium offering targeting the likes of the Toyota Innova and the Tata Aria. The Force MPV, which was said to feature a 2.2 liter common rail turbo diesel engine, has been spotted numerous times, on test runs in and around Pune.

Force Motors has also announced that it would begin retailing the upgraded Gurkha from January 2014. Notably, the upgraded Gurkha off roader was launched earlier this year. However, retail sales of the Gurkha are yet to commence as the SUV has been facing power steering and wiring issues, as detailed in CarToq’s earlier scoop. With these issues sorted out, the Gurkha is all set to arrive into the market early next year, as a direct rival to the Mahindra Thar, the only other diesel powered off-roader in the Indian market currently.

Force Gurkha Pic

Force Gurkha

Notably, Force Motors plans to sell the upgraded Gurkha in both BS3 and BS4 cities, across its 25 passenger car dealerships. This also indicates that the automaker will have a BS4 version of the Gurkha up and ready for retail roll out early next year. The Gurkha is currently powered by a 2.6 liter turbo charged diesel engine that outputs 80 Bhp-230 Nm. This engine is mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. The BS4 version of the Gurkha is likely to have a better power output of about 100 Bhp, along with better emission performance. Both two wheel drive and four wheel drive versions of the Gurkha will be made available next year.

Source TheHinduBusinessLine