Force Motors has revealed its new Gurkha at the Auto Expo 2020, ahead of its launch in the months ahead. Being direct rival to the Mahindra Thar (which is set to move to a new platform as well), the new Force Gurkha receives a new chassis and bodyshell to comply with present crash-test standards as well as the upcoming pedestrian safety norms.
On the outside, even though the Gurkha retains its upright retro look, there are plenty of cosmetic changes to distinguish it from its predecessor. The SUV gets a new set of bumpers and light clusters at both ends, as well as a new grille. The bulging wheel arches and claddings add to go-anywhere looks of the new Gurkha. Completing the look are 16-inch alloy wheels shod with 245/70 tubeless tyres.
Inside, the cabin takes a big step up from its predecessor’s utilitarian design in a bid to broaden the SUV’s appeal – as a lifestyle SUV and an everyday vehicle in addition to its off-road nature. The dashboard is still shallow and upright but now gets a comprehensive makeover. The centre console is all-new with a touchscreen infotainment system now sitting atop flanked by circular air-con vents. Lower down on the centre console rest new control surfaces for the air-con system. The instrument cluster is new too; a digital MID now sits between the tacho and speedometer.
The new Gurkha also packs in more kit than before with the inclusion of tech such as dual airbags, ABS, rear parking sensors, power windows and LED headlamps with DRLs. Moving to the seats, the cabin features four forward-facing seats – two individual seats in the second row – with a pair of jump seats in the boot section.
Moving to the mechanicals, the Gurkha carries forward the old 2.6-litre diesel from the outgoing model, albeit now upgraded to meet BS6 emission norms. The updated unit puts out 90hp (up 5hp from its predecessor) and comes paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard. As before, the four-wheel-drive model uses live axles at either end, along with manual locking differentials controlled via levers on the floor console, between the driver and co-driver. A two-wheel drive model will also be available. As with the older Gurkha, the new SUV gets an independent front suspension and coil springs at all four corners.
Force Motors showcased the new Gurkha in a three-door body style at the show, and in two derivatives – one was the standard model; the other, a more high-riding hardcore derivative. Although the company did state that more body configurations and multiple wheelbase options are possible. Prices of the new Gurkha will be revealed closer to the model’s launch in May 2020.