Lifestyle motoring is on the rise in India. This includes adventure seekers who want a proper 4×4 SUV that can handle abuse during weekend off-roading meets and be ready to take on a dozen odd modifications. This space has three main options ; the Mahindra Thar, Isuzu V-Cross and this, the Force Gurkha 4×4. The top spec Xtreme version got a new 2.2-litre motor for added punch. Does it help it make the best old school off-roader in India? Hit the play button right away!
Before we talk more about the Gurkha Xtreme 4×4, let me state that the version you see here comes kitted up. After market alloy wheels, Maxxis mud tyres, protectors, roof rack and a rear jerry can do give the Gurkha a new found identity. It does look macho and if I may add, badass! Just what you need to announce your arrival, no matter where. The snorkel is a standard fitment. Yes!
Priced Rs 74,000 over the Xplorer 4×4 that still gets the older engine, the Xtreme 4×4 gets a host of changes. On the outside, there are a lot less stickers but thankfully, the front badging under the windscreen is retained and it looks classic. The Xtreme gets a 3 inch lift from the factory and hence the stance is higher, giving it higher street cred. Everything else remains same! We are sure owners will not mind spending just over a lakh for these mods.
On the inside, there is a slight improvement in quality and new found refinement levels. The biggest changes are mechanical and this includes the new 2.2-litre engine that is made under license from Mercedes-Benz. Power goes up from 84 to 140 bhp and torque from 230 to 321 Nm. There is a new gearbox (G32, as compared to G28 on the earlier one) and to handle all that power, the hubs now have a gear. Force has also introduced a new transfer case that is made by Borg Warner’s Indian JV. And then the rigid front axle that replaces the independent front suspension. Helps off the road without killing the comfort factor.
There is no real competition for the Gurkha in India. It has the benefit of a hard top which the Thar doesn’t offer and both off-road and on-road performance is far better. The former is due to better approach / departure angles, a snorkel and lockable front and rear diff locks. A crawl mode too comes handy.
The Isuzu V-Cross on the other hand is expensive and too long for daily use. It is also not a match in stock form. If you’re in the market for a old school 4X4, you will want to know that there’s a new version of the Mahindra Thar that’s expected to make its debut in 2020. The Gurkha is also expected to get ABS, Airbags and other safety equipment sometime next year.