Force Motors has extended the Gurkha line-up with the addition of a new top-of-the-line Xtreme variant. This is the fifth variant of the RFC winning Gurkha in India after the Xpedition three-door, Xpedition five-door, Xplorer three-door and Xplorer five-door. Under the hood is a more powerful engine along with additional off-road hardware; thus making the Gurkha Xtreme more capable and better looking too.
Sitting under the hood is a Mercedes-Benz derived OM611 common rail diesel engine. This 2.2-litre motor produces 140bhp of power and 321Nm of twisting force. Sending the power to a five-speed manual transmission and a new 4x4 transfer case. The off-road hardware includes new live rigid axle up front and a hub-lock facility on the front axle. The advantage of the rigid axle is that it provides better vehicle articulation and durability in a high load environment. The latter disengages the drive sent to front wheel so that it freewheels under normal driving condition thus saving fuel and reducing stress on the drivetrain.
The Gurkha Xtreme is the only vehicle in its class to come with a rigid front axle with coil spring suspension. It is also the only vehicle with a locking differential on both front and rear axle. The snorkel air-intake not only gives the Xtreme a distinct appearance it is also useful for deep water wading when expediting extreme terrains.
Styling wise, the Xtreme isn’t much different from the other two-door versions of the Gurkha. The raised ride-height along with Gelandewagen styling makes the Gurkha Xtreme standout. There is the same chrome finished intake snorkel, squared off wheel arches, bonnet mounted LED indicators (like in the G-Wagon), clear lens circular headlamps, full-length footboard, and a wider tubeless tyre on the Gurkha Xtreme. The only visual changes differentiating the Xtreme are the decals and new wheels.
Priced at Rs 12.99 lakhs (all-India, ex-showroom), it is the most expensive Gurkha on sale at the moment. It is almost Rs 3.25 lakhs more expensive than the Xpedition two-door and Rs 2.5 lakhs more than the Xplorer two-door. However, it is one of the most affordable 4x4 on sale in the country. At its price point, you have a choice of Renault Duster or Hyundai Creta both of which provide a lot of comfort and on-road convenience compared to the utilitarian Gurkha. Or there are choices of the middle-spec C-segment sedans like Honda City, Toyota Yaris, Volkswagen Vento or the Hyundai Verna at the same price point. As an alternative, one can also have a look at the S7 or S9 version of the Scorpio. The Mahindra’s SUV has been around for a long time and provides decent off-road capability as well. But the Force Gurkha has a coveted RFC winning underpinning and a go-anywhere capability that not many cars on sale in India can boast of.