Off-roading is one of the many forms of automotive usage and sports. It also has a fairly large following among auto enthusiasts, even in India too. One of the major reasons behind the popularity of off-roading in India is that unlike other motorsports, general off-roading requires relatively less equipment and investments. A few SUVs like the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, Mahindra Thar, Force Gurkha, Maruti Suzuki Gypsy, and the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross among others are quite popular in the off-road fraternity of India. The video below Anshuman Bishnoi shows a few of these SUVs tackling a steep verticle drop in an off-road course. Take a look at the video before we proceed towards the further discussion on the same.
The SUVs featured in this video which undertook the challenge are Toyota Fortuner, Force Gurkha, Maruti Suzuki Gypsy, and the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross. The steep incline is a part of a larger offroad-track which has been specially planned for tricky challenges. The first one to take the challenge was the Toyota Fortuner, which had a slightly modified suspension setup. Now while the slope shown in this video is quite extreme, it has been specially designed so as to let the skilful riders pass without much difficulty. What one needs to tackle such inclines is a driver with steady and firm hands and light moving foot, a fairly capable vehicle with good approach and departure angles, and bucketloads of patience.
Talking about the Fortuner, it approaches the include quite slowly but steadily. Now the Toyota Fortuner is quite a capable off-road friendly SUV but since it is also a luxury highway cruiser, it is also quite a large vehicle with a substantially heavyweight. As a thumb of rule, large and heavy vehicle with long overhangs does not meld well with broken surfaces and off-road terrain. The Fortuner does come with a low ratio gearbox. The driver takes the SUV slowly and gets away without much issue, though the rear bumper was scraped a bit.
The Force Gurkha, on the other hand, is known for its off-road prowess and made the whole challenge look like a walk in the park. Not quite though, as a skilled driver is necessary for going over such features and that was the case here too. Similarly, the Maruti Suzuki Gypsy went down easily and also knocked its rear bumper hard upon exit. The Gypsy is known for its heavy off-road abilities and despite being more than 3 decades old, the vehicle is as good as a caterpillar on the loose terrain. However, it has now been discontinued since it didn’t comply with the BNSVAP and the upcoming BSVI norms.
Last came the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross, which again is a favourite among the country’s off-road tribe. This one here had quite a few modifications on it so as to help during off-roading. While the D-Max V-Cross did cross it, its journey wasn’t as easy as the Gypsy or the Gurkha but rather like the Fortuner. Now off-roading may look like fun but it requires a lot of practice and planning. One has to take the best route out without damaging the vehicle much. Nonetheless, such challenges can also damage the vehicle severely and should not be done until there’s no other way out.