Force Motors has unveiled its new BS6 compliant Gurkha at the Auto Expo 2020. It should hit the showrooms in May 2020 this year. With the update, Force has tried make Gurkha a little more mainstream by adding comfort, refinement and meet the new safety norms. The new Gurkha will compete with the newly updated Thar.
While Gurkha retain its Mercedes G-Wagen inspired upright looks, there are little changes here and there that separate it from its predecessor. The front lights now get circular DRLs, more Bentley than G-Wagen though. The bumper and grille too have a new look. The tail lights too get an update but the spare wheel stays where it was. And while the demo piece was three-door one, we expect Gurkha to offer 5-door variants as well.
But its on inside where the changes are really significant. The outgoing Gurkha was as basic as it gets. The centre console gets a touchscreen infotainment system while the dash gets an MID between tacho and speedo. Overall, the finish is much improved.
The new Gurkha gets dual airbags, ABS, rear parking sensors, power windows and LED headlamps with DRLs. And it is a 6- or more accurately 4+2 seater: there are four forward facing seats in two rows followed by two jump seats where the boot would have been. The latter can be pulled out easily to make space for the luggage.
Gurkha continues to be powered by the 2.6 litre diesel engine that has now been made compliant with BS6 norms. The engine which produces 90 bhp—5 bhp more than the outgoing model. A 5-speed gearbox is standard and as with the earlier avatar off-road goodies abound including manual locking differentials with independent front suspension and coil springs at all four corners.
Force claims it has tweaked the chassis and so Gurkha should ride better over regular roads. Further, work has been done on the NVH front as well. Overall, the new Gurkha appears to be a more well-rounded product that, along with the upcoming 2nd generation Thar, has the potential to appeal to a broader set of buyers. Pricing has not been released yet. The commercial launch of this off-roader is likely to happen before April 1st 2020, which is when the Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) norms will come into place across India. By then Mahindra would have launched the all-new, 2020 Thar. While the Thar is expected to cater to the lifestyle crowd that seeks a modicum of comfort along with off roading chops, the Gurkha buyer is generally the one buying the vehicle for greater off road use.