Mahindra is putting together a 5-door long wheelbase version of the popular Thar off-roader. While the Thar 5-door is still at least a year away, the competition has already manifested itself. Force Motors – it seems – will beat Mahindra to launch, with a five-door version of the Gurkha SUV. Spyshots of the Gurkha 5-door have surfaced and the vehicle appears to be close to production trim.
Images Courtesy of Motorbeam
The Gurkha Long Wheelbase will get jump seats in the trunk, which should give it the capacity to carry 6-7 passengers, depending on the middle seat. The short-wheelbase Gurkha gets captain’s seats in the middle row. If Force Motors decides to stick with captain’s seats, the long-wheelbase SUV variant seats 6, and if a bench seat replaces the captain’s seats in the middle, the capacity can go up to 7 people.
The Gurkha 5-door under test had 18-inch alloy wheels with diamond-cut wheels and 255/65 tires. The 255/65 tire setup is one size larger than the 245 section tires on the 3-door model. Other specifications remain unclear for now. We expect the mechanics and most features to remain unchanged on the longer wheelbase version of the Gurkha.
The proven 2.6 liter 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine will also power the new version. However, the outputs are likely to be revised upwards, given the extra weight and payload of the long-wheelbase Gurkha. On the 3-door Gurkha, this engine makes 91 Bhp-250 Nm, and it comes standard with a 5-speed manual gearbox. The same engine is tuned to produce 115 hp-350 Nm on the Force Traveler bus. A similar state of tone is likely on the 5-door Gurkha.
Most Gurkha buyers complain that the vehicle feels underpowered, and a stronger engine tuning could make the SUV a lot livelier. The suspension arrangement with coil springs on all four wheels can be carried over to the 5-door Gurkha. The Gurkha is known for its driving qualities – an important area where it outperforms the Mahindra Thar – and expects this advantage to carry over to the five-door version as well.
A four-wheel drive transfer case with 4 low and 4 high modes is offered. In the previous generation Gurkha, the longer wheelbase model was available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. It remains to be seen if Force Motors takes the same approach with the BS6 version of the 5-door Gurkha. The new SUV is aimed at buyers who want a tough, expedition-ready vehicle with a good ride quality and a strong diesel engine.
The 5-door Gurkha could hit the market at the end of this year or early next year. There is as yet no direct competition for the Giurkha 5-door. Things will change once the long-wheelbase 5-door version of the Mahindra Thar arrives. However, the 5-door Thar, which is based on the Scorpio-N platform, will not be launched until the end of 2023.