Force Gurkha automatic under evaluation

    Sourced from Japanese firm JATCO, the automatic gearbox is expected to be available in the Gurkha 3-door and 5-door.

    Published On Jun 20, 2024 08:00:00 AM

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    Force Gurkha automatic under evaluation

    A JATCO-sourced auto (inset) is expected to be used on the Gurkha.

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    Force is looking to broaden the appeal of its Gurkha SUV by offering an automatic gearbox option soon. We can confirm that they plan to do this by sourcing the gearbox from Japan Automatic Transmission Company (JATCO), which also supplies the Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger’s CVT gearbox.

    1. Force Gurkha AT likely to use a JATCO-sourced gearbox
    2. Will come with a 7-speed torque convertor automatic
    3. Expected to be cost around Rs 1 lakh more

    Priced from Rs 16.75 lakh, the Gurkha is now available in 3-door and 5-door form, a more powerful 140hp diesel engine, and more features. However, the lack of a more affordable 4x2 variant, and the fact that the SUV only comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox, relegates the Gurkha to a more niche, non-urban audience. Even rivals like the Maruti Suzuki Jimny and Mahindra Thar have auto gearbox options, giving these SUVs a broader appeal. Do note, while the Jimny is offered only as a 4x4, the Thar gets 4x4, 4x2 and even diesel engine options.

    JATCO makes CVTs for hybrids overseas, CVTs for small, medium and large front-wheel drive models, and a number of torque convertor automatics: 4- and 6-speed units for front-wheel drive cars, and 5-, 7-, and 9-speed units for RWD models.

    For the Gurkha, Force Motors is looking at a 7-speed torque convertor unit, which will help deliver the bottom-end torque needed by this rough-roader, and work well in conjunction with the SUV’s 4WD gear. The automatic will see the model's price increase by about Rs 1 lakh, compared to the Gurkha manual. This would mean that the 3-door AT is expected to cost around Rs 18 lakh, while the Gurkha 5-door is likely to cost around Rs 19 lakh, ex-showroom.

    When compared to the Mahindra Thar diesel 4x4 automatic variants, which are priced between Rs 17 lakh and Rs 17.6 lakh, the Gurkha AT (in 3-door guise) may have a slightly higher asking price. Whether this will translate to more sales for Force Motors is something only time will tell. In order to reach a wider audience, the brand has already begun work on a Gurkha 4x2 to take on the Thar RWD.

    Responding to a query from Autocar India regarding the development, the Indian brand responded with, "At Force Motors, we continuously strive to innovate and enhance our vehicle offerings to better serve our customers. We have noted the recent speculation regarding the potential launch of the Gurkha in an automatic transmission variant. While we appreciate the interest and enthusiasm from our community and stakeholders, we cannot confirm such news at this moment.

    "The development of new vehicle variants, especially involving major changes like an automatic transmission, could require a timeline of 18-24 months to ensure we meet our high standards of quality and performance.

    "Our commitment remains steadfast in bringing innovative solutions that enhance the driving experience for our end consumers. In due course of time, we will be able to share more concrete information on this topic as we continue our evaluations and development processes." 

    All prices, ex-showroom, India

    Also see:

    2024 Force Gurkha 5 door review: Bigger is better

    2024 Force Gurkha image gallery

    New Force Gurkha vs Mahindra Thar: specifications comparison

    Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.

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