2021 Force Gurkha BS6 4x4 spotted testing: Launch soon?
We've come across a 2021 Force Gurkha BS6 undergoing testing on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. The rugged off-roader was first showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo and a launch was on the cards soon after in 2020. There has been no news on that front since then but these test mules suggest that Force Motors may now be looking to launch the BS6 Force Gurka in the next few months.
2021 Force Gurkha BS6 engine, specifications
The 2021 Force Gurkha has been significantly revised with the switch to BS6 norms. Only the 2.6-litre turbo-diesel continues though. This unit has been derived from Mercedes-Benz's OM616 unit and makes 90PS and 260 Nm while pairing with a 5-speed manual. Sadly, the potent 140PS/321 Nm 2.2-litre motor derived from Mercedes' OM611 unit has not been updated to meet the new norms.
The Gurkha's chassis has also been significantly revised with this update to meet the newest safety regulations and to improve dynamics both on and off the road. The heavy-duty off-roading equipment has been carried over to a large extent. So there is a 4x4 system with a low range transfer case, a rigid front axle and locking differentials on both axles. The BS4 Gurkha had a water-wading capability of 550mm, 210mm of ground clearance, a 44-degree approach and 40-degree departure angle, and the ability to negotiate a 40-degree gradient in the 4WD low setting. We expect the new one to match these numbers.
2021 Force Gurkha BS6 features, styling
The BS6 Force Gurkha has seen some notable styling updates, although the G-Class inspiration remains intact. There is a new grille and LED headlamps, a new bonnet to meet pedestrian safety norms and revised bumpers at the front. The typically G-Class fender-mounted indicators remain. Along the sides, the heavy body-cladding has been carried over although the ridges along the sides have been revised, possibly for better rigidity. Further, the split rear windows have been replaced by a larger single-piece unit. At the rear, there are new tailamps and bumpers as well as a new tailgate and wider windscreen.
The interiors have since a significant revision. The utilitarian dashboard has been replaced by a more contemporary looking one which now houses a touchscreen infotainment system with a reversing camera. The airvents are of the rotary kind while the instrumentation has also been revised to fit an MID. At the rear, the now illegal side-facing seats have been replaced by a forward-facing bench.
Safety features amount to dual airbags, ABS, a speed warning function and seatbelt reminder. The top-spec Xtreme version is also expected and should come with the added guard rails, a roof carrier and the snorkel.
2021 Force Gurkha BS6 expected price, launch date, rivals
The updated Force Gurkha will compete with the new Mahindra Thar, although with the Mahindra moving further upmarket, we expect the Gurkha to significantly undercut it. Prices should start at around Rs 10 lakh ex-showroom. The Maruti Suzuki Jimny rumoured to launch in India next year will be another rival. The new Gurkha should launch in India by June-July 2021, COVID19 permitting.
Check out our first look video of the Force Gurkha BS6 below