Off-roader Anshuman Bishnoi has put together a video that brings together the three most affordable off-road SUVs sold in India – the Maruti Gypsy, the Mahindra Thar, and the Force Gurkha. All three vehicles have 4X4 transfer cases, and in this video are made to go across four obstacles. Here, watch it for yourself.
In this video, the Force Gurkha seems to perform better than both the Mahindra Thar (which is more powerful) and the Maruti Gypsy (which is much lighter). The Gurkha can be seen effortlessly chugging across obstacles and in one scenario, is even deployed to rescue the Thar, which gets beached on an incline. But what makes the Gurkha seem so steady across most obstacles even as the Thar and the Gypsy are seen struggling?
Two words: Differential locks, popularly called diff-locks. While the Gurkha suffers both a power and torque disadvantage with just 80 Bhp-230 Nm when compared to the Thar’s 105 Bhp-247 Nm, it is equipped with differential locks on both the front and rear axles. Differential locks, when deployed, guarantee equal wheel speed on all four wheels. Because of this, the Force Gurkha is able to use its limited torque much better, as wheel spin is prevented.
As the diff-locks prevent wheel spin, traction becomes much better and the torque generated by the engine is actually put to the ground. This is why the Gurkha is able to climb obstacles with little or no drama even as the Thar and Gypsy raise dust clouds due to their spinning wheels. However, the Gurkha’s lack of outright power does show up at the latter part of the video, in a particularly steep incline (watch video from 5:20).
The Thar manages to cross this obstacle by simply powering through it. The Gurkha struggles to build momentum and gets stuck. Though the Gypsy is the lightest of all, with a rev-happy petrol engine (80 Bhp-103 Nm), it just doesn’t have enough torque (just 103 Nm, coming at high rpm) to power through.
All in all, this video goes to show how much of a difference differential locks can make to four wheel drive vehicles. Both the Gypsy and the Thar would be vastly superior off-roaders with just this one change. Talking of the Gurkha, it could do well with a little more power and torque. Force Motors is said to be working on a more powerful variant of the Gurkha (2.2 liter 140 Bhp-320 Nm), which is a big step up from the current 2.6 liter diesel (80 Bhp-230 Nm).