Jonga to make a comeback in India

In a nostalgic twist for both military veterans and automotive enthusiasts, the iconic vehicle we all know as the Jonga is all set to make a remarkable comeback in India. Having once served as a trusted workhorse for the armed forces and captured the hearts of civilians, the Jonga is returning to the spotlight with a fresh outlook. This time, it promises to blend modern features with the cherished ruggedness that earned it its reputation.

Jonga to make a comeback in India


Originally an acronym for “Jabalpur Ordnance and Gun Assembly,” the Jonga became more than just a name; it became a symbol of dependability. From the 1970s through the 80s, this multipurpose vehicle was a common sight carrying army personnel across rugged terrains and later found its way into civilian hands as well.

Initially introduced as a personnel carrier, the Jonga’s versatility shone through as it adapted to various roles, including that of an ambulance, reconnaissance vehicle, and gun carrier. However, by 1998, the evolution of automotive technologies led to a halt in production, marking the end of an era.

The Grand Revival

Jonga to make a comeback in India


The resurrection of the Jonga is a labor of love led by the Vehicle Factory Jabalpur (VFJ), the same institution that once rolled out this iconic vehicle. Spearheading the project is Sanjeev Bhola, the Senior General Manager of VFJ, renowned for his contributions to weapons systems development.

Bhola’s vision for the Jonga includes retaining its classic appearance while infusing it with modern features that will cater to present-day requirements. The new Jonga is expected to boast a longer and wider body, providing ample space for both military and civilian needs. Its robust design, with a kerb weight of 2,000kg, will be powered by a 150hp engine.


The revival of the Jonga brings back memories of its initial introduction, which was a result of the Indian Army acquiring the rights to build and operate the Nissan Patrol P60 SUV in India. Through the skilled hands of VFJ, the Patrol P60 underwent a transformation, leading to the birth of the Jonga.

The original Jonga was equipped with a 4-liter inline 6-cylinder petrol engine producing 145 Bhp and 330 Nm, combined with a three-speed manual transmission and a two-speed four-wheel-drive transfer case. Its impressive ground clearance of 222mm made it a force to reckon with in challenging terrains.

An Indomitable Spirit


The Jonga’s legacy extended beyond the military realm, briefly entering the civilian market in the 1990s. However, due to transmission challenges arising from a high torque diesel engine, only a limited number were sold. This scarcity further fuels the Jonga’s mystique, with these surviving vehicles cherished by vintage off-road enthusiasts.

As the world witnesses the resurgence of the Jonga, it serves as a testament to enduring design and engineering that withstands the test of time. The new Jonga aims to honor its storied history while embracing contemporary innovation, allowing it to once again conquer the rough and tumble terrains of India.

Utkarsh Deshmukh

Utkarsh is a passionate car enthusiast and Feature Writer at for over two years. He specializes in writing up-to-date news stories and deep dives into the auto industry. With a knack for cutting through the noise, Utkarsh delivers clear and informative pieces that keep readers engaged and informed about the latest in cars. (Full bio)