Force recently launched the more hardcore and powerful version of its off road SUV Gurkha. Called the Gurkha Xtreme, it comes with a new engine along with a host of other changes to help increase its off road prowess. It has been priced at Rs. 12.99 lakhs (ex-showroom) and competes with the Mahindra Thar as its main rival.
Many people were concerned upon the topic if the new Gurkha Xtreme has really pushed the bar high or not. To answer the question, here is a video by Anshuman Bishnoi which shows how the Gurkha fares when challenged with off road terrain.
The video is not a full blown off road review but rather a short clip which gives one a good idea of the capabilities of the new Gurkha. The vehicle used during this video is a completely stock unit. The exterior theme of the Gurkha has been maintained and the new car carries the rugged boxy look proudly. The Xtreme variant is only available in three door version. Changes made on the exterior include new single slat grille, projector headlamps, revised tail lights, LED turn indicators on the bonnet (Merc G-Wagon style) along with large ORVMs. The updated Gurkha also gets new interiors and the changes include a new centre console, gear lever along with low-ratio transfer lever.
The biggest change made on the Gurkha Xtreme is its engine. The SUV now gets powered by a Mercedes sourced OM611 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine that churns out 140 Bhp of power and 321 Nm of torque. The engine is paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox that is also a Mercedes Benz sourced unit. Power is sent to all four wheels of the SUV. Apart from this, another major mechanical change is the new transfer case and diff locks on both the front and the rear. The Gurkha Xtreme also sports a new upgraded suspension setup which is now multi-link at both the front and the rear.
The Gurkha has been altered dimensionally too. To be precise, the front track has become wider by 40mm allowing for greater stability to the vehicle on high-speed. The company has further enhanced the approach, departure and ramp break over angles of the SUV which are critical for any off road vehicle. The approach angle stands at 44 degrees, ram over angle is at 35 degrees and the departure angle has now improved to 29 degrees. It is much better than the 39 degrees, 27 degrees and 24 degrees angle of the regular Force Gurkha. The Gurkha Xtreme has a ground clearance of 205 mm and gets a water wading depth of 550 mm with the help of snorkel.
As of now, the Gurkha Xtreme is probably the best off road oriented vehicle in its price range. The Mahindra Thar is an alternative to the Gurkha Xtreme but it is low on power as well other off road essentials like suspension and differentials. However, the upcoming new Thar, which will be launched in 2020, sports similar power output and gets upgraded suspension setup too. Till then, the Gurkha Xtreme is the king of the hill.