Force Motors will take its decades-long association with Daimler to a new level when it launches its first multi-purpose vehicle. The MPV will be none other than the Mercedes-Benz Viano which it hopes to sell for Rs 10-15 lakh. It will sport a new name as a Force product but the badging will indicate a Mercedes association also. Force Motors signed a licence agreement with Daimler AG for the MPV project in July.
Force Motors says this comprehensive supply of product technology will facilitate the entry of the company into the segment of passenger and goods vehicles which will complement its Traveller light commercial vehicle line-up. Incidentally, the Traveller is also a Mercedes-Benz model called Transporter.
Force already has an on-going arrangement with MBtech Powertrain GmbH (MBtech), for sourcing technical assistance in regard to engine installation, vehicle build quality, and refinement in electronics.
The Viano is sold globally as a seven-seater, though Force Motors could introduce the eight-seater variant as well. Force Motors’ MPV is likely to feature the same engine (codename OM 611) and transmission as used on the recently-launched Force One SUV. That means the MPV will be powered by a Mercedes-Benz-licensed 2.2-litre, common-rail, four-cylinder engine. Peak power will be a decent 139bhp at 3800rpm that will be transmitted to the rear wheels (just as on the Viano) via a five-speed manual gearbox.
Issue: 206 | Autocar India: October 2016
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