New Force Gurkha (Mahindra Thar Rival) Launch Delayed To 2021

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The updated Force Gurkha (BS6 version) is also expected to offer more comfort and convenience features than the previous model

The BS6-compliant version of the Force Gurkha was first shown at the 2020 Auto Expo, but due to the market slowdown, the SUV still hasn’t launched in India. Earlier, we had received reports that the Gurkha has started arriving at dealerships, but now, it turns out that Force has decided to delay the launch further, till the next year.

According to recent reports, the primary reason for this delay is the increased demand for the Force Traveller ambulance. Due to the pandemic, there has been an increase in the demand for ambulances, which has prompted Force Motors to allocate resources towards increasing the production of the Traveller, thereby limiting its focus on other products. Interestingly, Force Motors has now collaborated with DY Works to design a new brand strategy for the Gurkha.

With the launch of the second-generation Mahindra Thar, the competition for the Gurkha has increased two-fold. The model showcased at the Expo, earlier this year, was an extremely crude SUV, with a focus towards utility rather than comfort and convenience. The Thar, on the other hand, has been redesigned completely to be as mainstream as possible.

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Prasan Firodia, Managing Director, Force Motors, was quoted saying: “We wanted to collaborate with a partner who understood our vision and could help us unlock the next growth story for Gurkha and DY’s approach matched our ambition perfectly. I look forward to creating an exciting story for Gurkha and its tribe with their team.

The BS6 Gurkha will not only offer a new engine and a slightly restyled exterior, but a completely revamped interior as well. There would also be the addition of a touchscreen infotainment system, MID in the instrument cluster, along with plenty of safety features, like dual airbags, ABS, EBD, parking sensors, power windows, and maybe even power-operated ORVMs.

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The updated Force Gurkha will be powered by a 2.6-litre turbo-diesel engine, same as the older model, but upgraded to meet the new emission norms. The maximum power and torque output are rated at 90 PS and 260 Nm, respectively. The manufacturer could also offer the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel motor (140 PS and 321 Nm), which powered the Gurka Xtreme. The more powerful engine would place the Gurkha closer to the new Thar, thereby levelling the field.