Force Motors launched the updated Gurkha SUV last year. The model is currently powered by a BS-III compliant 2.6-litre OM616-derived diesel engine which is good for 81bhp, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Like the Mahindra Thar, the Force Gurkha has attracted a good fan following, but its reach is restricted to those cities supporting BS-III norms.
But this could change soon, as our sources tell us that Force Motors is readying a BS-IV version of the Gurkha and it is expected to launch by the end of this year. The Force Gurkha BS-IV will come with the current 2.6-litre engine but the big news is that it is also likely to get the more-powerful 2.2-litre motor which does duty in the larger Force One SUV. This engine is essentially a Mercedes-Benz’s 2.2-litre, OM611 common-rail engine that meets BS-IV emissions norms and makes a Tata Safari-rivalling 139bhp and 32.6kgm of torque. Force Motors will also introduce an updated gearbox for both the engine options.
The Force Gurkha is currently available in three variants — a base 2WD soft-top, a 4WD soft-top and a 4WD hard-top. When launched, we expect the Gurkha 2.2 to be priced significantly higher than the 2.6-litre model.