Commercial vehicle manufacturer Force Motors will soon spawn two new vehicles, a passenger van and a new Gurkha 4×4 SUV.
New Passenger van –
For long, the Tempo Traveler has been Force Motors’ staple offering that is both comfortable as well as reliable due to the Daimler OM series Diesel engine under the hood. Force Motors will launch it’s a flagship product, the 2011 Force SUV, in a month or so. While the 2011 Force SUV will be the brand builder for Force Motors, the firm has plans to launch a passenger van aimed at large families before the end of 2011.
This passenger van, which could be an 8 or 9 seater will sit in the personalized vehicle space and not as a commercial vehicle. So, the Tata Winger could now get some home grown competition to spice things up in the people carrier segment. Other details about the passenger van remain unknown at the moment. Force Motors is gradually penetrating into the people mover and private SUV domain. The company is planning to open separate dealerships for selling its passenger vehicles such as the upcoming Foday Explorer based Force SUV.
Many test mules of the Force SUV have been spotted, indicating that its launch is not too far away. The new passenger van, that Firodia had mentioned, could also be sold via the new passenger vehicle dealerships like the new SUV.
Force Motors may also explore using the Tempo Trax Gurkha 4×4 vehicle’s engine in the passenger van. The Trax Gurkha is powered by a 2.6 litre BSIII motor that produces a modest 75 hp of maximum power and 195 Nm of maximum torque.
The only obvious potential rival for the upcoming Force van, the Tata Winger is powered by 2.0 litre BSIII diesel engine that makes 68 bhp of maximum power at 4,500 rpm and 115 Nm of maximum torque at 2000~3000 rpm.
New Gurkha 4WD SUV –
Force Gurkha, based on the legendary Mercedes Benz G-Wagon’s genes, was somewhat of a legend until Force Motors mysteriously decided to simply discontinue the product even as hopes of the new OM611 CRDI Diesel engine were running high. Face-lifted version will come with a more powerful engine, improved mechanicals and better interiors could attract certain off-road enthusiasts. Now, the Indian off road enthusiasts have something to cheer about as Force Motors will prelaunch the Force Gurkha in November 2011.
Force Trax Gurkha 4WD is powered by a TD 2650 FTI, 2,596 cc engine (BS III) that makes 75 hp of maximum power at 3,200 rpm and maximum torque of 195 Nm at 1,800-2,000 rpm. The Trax Gurkha has advanced off-roading features such as a manually lockable front and rear differentials, with shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive, but the under-powered engine may fail to fully utilize the strong chassis.
Confoundingly, Force Motors drivers used to drive the Gurkha all the way from the Force Motors’ factory at Pithampur to the customer’s city for customer deliveries. Now, a brand new SUV being at the mercy of the drivers for a couple of thousand kilometres isn’t exactly how you’d want your SUV to be delivered The seating capacity of the Trax Gurkha 4WD is seven people. The build quality is utilitarian at best and priced close to Rs 8 lakh. The new Gurkha could possible get better interiors justifying its wholesome price tag.
We anticipate the OM611 CRDI Diesel engine to finally be available on the Force Gurkha along with improvement to the overall fit and finish levels. Also, the buying experience will undergo a massive improvement as Force now has a brand new passenger vehicles sales and service division with well trained staff who will ensure that buying a Gurkha would be a much more pleasant experience than ever before.
Currently, Force Motors sells the Traveller (passenger van), Trax Judo (MPV), Trax Gurkha (SUV), Trump (small truck) and a tractor. The Tempo Traveller which was based on the Mercedes-Benz T1N Sprinter is volume puller and almost enjoys monopoly in the market.