Force Motors hopes that its all-new SUV will be a game changer for the company in the same way that the Scorpio changed buyers’ perception of Mahindra.
Better known for its basic and utilitarian products in the commercial vehicle space, Force wants to break into the passenger car market and is developing an all-new vehicle aiming to do just that. Though the product hasn’t been revealed yet, the spy shots indicate that the Force SUV is based on the Foday Guangdong Explorer III, a little-known Chinese SUV. Force Motors is understood to have bought the tooling for the body while the interiors are sourced from Thailand.
The Force SUV’s boxy shape isn’t at all appealing and falls far short of the styling standards we have come to expect today. However, Force Motors hopes to make up by underpinning its SUV with some sturdy mechanicals.
The body-on-frame chassis is made of robust ‘C-in-C’ construction and suspended with coil springs in the rear and a torsion bar set-up in the front. However, at the heart of this vehicle is the Mercedes OM 611 which develops 140bhp and 35kgm of torque via a five-speed manual transmission.
This 2.2-litre common-rail turbo-diesel is the same unit that powered the W210 E-class when it was first launched in 2000; though this engine is now a generation old, it still meets the latest Bharat Stage IV norms and promises better performance and refinement than homegrown engines from Mahindra and Tata. Although this engine will be made under license from Mercedes by Force Motors for its SUV, it’s unclear if the German company will allow its brand name to be used on the vehicle.
The ride and handling has been tuned by Lotus and the Force SUV is currently in the sign-off stage before production begins around June. According to industry sources, the SUV will be priced around Rs 10-12 lakh and will come with lots of features which include airbags and ABS.
© Haymarket SAC Publishing (India) Pvt Ltd, 2011. All rights reserved.
Issue: 165 | May 2013
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