The Force Gurkha is the last of the proper old school off-roaders on sale today and that’s despite coming in a new generation very recently. The off-road oozes ruggedness and is unabashedly built for a niche customer base instead of trying please everyone. The new generation Force Gurkha remains available as a three-door offering but that could change soon going by the latest spy shots that have graced the internet. Confirming several rumours, the images reveal a five-door version of the Gurkha that appears to be in a near-production stage, which was spotted testing. The five-door Gurkha essentially stretches the wheelbase on the off-roader adding extra doors and up to nine seats bringing more practicality than ever.
Currently, the Force Gurkha, like the Mahindra Thar, gets captain seats in the first and second rows. However, the new version is expected to spot the captain seats for a bench in the second row and captain seats in the last row or jump seats at the back. This will make way for either thirteen-seater or eight-seater options on the off-roader. The older Gurkha 5-door could seat up to seven people. This nine-seater version will particularly work in the hinterland where demand for multi-seaters is higher. Add to that, the Gurkha’s ‘go anywhere’ capability and this model will certainly connect with a lot of buyers looking for something rugged yet slightly modern now.
The spy images also convey that the Force Gurkha 5-door will remain largely the same as far as mechanicals are concerned. Power is expected to come from the same 2.6-litre diesel engine that develops 91PS and 250Nm of peak torque on the three-door version. The five-door model could be a retuned motor developing more power and torque to handle the additional weight. The image shows the snorkel being retained on the 5-door, while 4×4 is also a given with a low-range transfer case and manually locking front and rear differentials.
What will change though will be the off-roading capability of the five-door version over the three-door Gurkha. Expect to see changes in the approach, rampover and departure angles, which currently stand at 37 degrees, 25 degrees and 25 degrees respectively. It will be interesting to see if the Gurkha 5-door gets the option of an automatic given the premium pricing on this version.
Considering the top-end Force Gurkha 3-door is priced at Rs. 14.50 lakh (ex-showroom), expect the 5-door derivative to be priced up to Rs. 18 lakh (ex-showroom). That said, there’s no word on when Force Motors plans to introduce the Gurkha 5-door. If the model arrives in the next one year, it will have an advantage in the niche segment with players like Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra playing catch up. Both OEMs are developing five-door versions of the Jimny and Thar respectively, which will arrive in the later part of this decade. But we will have to wait to know more Force’s plans for now.