Force Motors has launched their most off-road focused version of the Gurkha to date, the new version christened the Xtreme uses a completely different Mercedes-Benz motor and will cost Rs 12.99 (ex-showroom India) The Mercedes-Benz sourced OM611 motor also underpins the Monstrous Rain Forest Challenge Gurkha’s. If you’ve never heard of the RFC you’re not likely to be interested in the Gurkha Xtreme either, but none the less, the event which is placed among the most dangerous motorsport events in the world puts some of the wildest off-roaders from around the world to the test, pushing them to the absolute limit. The Force Gurkha RFC that uses the same motor has won the event in 2014, 2015 and 2016, which should tell you everything you need to know about Xtreme.
The Mercedes-Benz diesel motor under the hood is the same one that was used in previous generations of the E-Class in 1999. The common rail engine makes a more than adequate 140 hp and 321 Nm of torque, it uses a dual mass flywheel that ensures excellent drivability and low NVH. The Gurkha Xtreme also comes with a new transfer case and a new live rigid axle in the front. It also has provision to fit hub locks on the front axles that helps saving fuel as well as reducing stress on the drivetrain while in 2WD.
The Gurkha Xtreme has high strength C-in-C chassis and is the only vehicle in this class which has live rigid front axles with coil spring suspension ensuring best in class on-road handling and ride comfort along with extreme off-roading ability. It is also the only vehicle that comes with differential locks on both front and rear axles to come out of sticky situations, and air intake snorkel for deep water wading. Now, if you haven't figured this out yet this is no recreational vehicle like the Thar and will probably only appeal to those who are very very serious about off-roading and competitions therein. Needless to say with all this tech the Xtreme will make to places where even the bulletproof Thar runs out of steam.
Force Motors say the Gurkha draw inspiration in terms of design from the Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen aka the G-Wagon. Although we would assume that they are talking of the original and not the one on sale at present. Either ways, its boxy design and giant proportion beg for a second look, and will definitely appeal overlanders and adventurers and even competition level off-roaders. Speaking at the launch, about the new trim Mr Ashutosh Khosla, President Sales and Marketing, Force Motors said, “The Gurkha Xtreme is being introduced in a phased manner with the first lot of vehicles being delivered to select customers who have been waiting since long for this variant. With the introduction of the Gurkha Xtreme, our portfolio of off-roading vehicles is complete with variants to take care of every segment, be it mild, moderate or extreme off-roading. The best part of the Gurkha Xtreme is that it is adaptable for competitive off-roading.”