It was a pretty delicate situation that I had put myself into. I’m on a slope sideways and trying to inch my way forward. But there is more here than meets the eye. This is no ordinary slope I'm talking about. This slope was at a 30-degree incline and as a result I could almost lean out of the window and touch the flat ground. Me biting the dust or not depended solely on how stupid I acted or how capable this all-new Gurkha was. Thankfully it was the latter that prevailed and the Gurkha easily managed to crawl out of the situation. That’s when I realised why Force Motors had tagged the new Gurkha as the world’s first E.O.V or Extreme Off-roader Vehicle.
Now the Gurkha isn’t a new name, and for those who didn’t know it has been around since 2008. But then not many people have heard about it apart from off-road fanatics and I don’t blame them. Force Motors had built the Gurkha for export only and just 40 vehicles were sold to the general public. Based on the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon, the Gurkha came across as quite a basic but mighty capable off-roader and made quite a name for itself at off-road events and in the off-road community itself. Egged on by its capabilities and the increase in off-road activities, Force Motors has just come out with the all-new Gurkha 4x4x4.
In case you are wondering, that extra ‘x4’ is ‘not’ a typo. And just before you get excited and think that the extra x4 means a 4-wheels steering system, I am sorry to bust your bubble again. According to Force Motors, the 4x4x4 stands for 4-wheel drive for all 4 seasons on all 4 kinds of terrain. As silly as the name may sound, there is no mistaking the capability of the all-new Gurkha.
If you are out in the market for a hardcore off-roader, it has to look the business. The basic silhouette of the new Gurkha is similar to the old one, but it has gone under the knife for quite a few changes. Now the Gurkha does not have the macho-ness of say a jeep, but then it boasts a subtle aggression which is evoked only through the details. The first thing that tells you that this is no ordinary vehicle is that big shiny chrome snorkel.
The muscular side cladding on the side along with those chunky dual-purpose 245 section tyres wrapped around yummy 5-spoke alloys further enhance its brutish appeal. The front, however, is something my eyes don’t agree with. While the earlier Gurkha had rectangular shaped headlights, which gave the car its own identity, the new round ones give it a slightly confused face. All said and done, the Gurkha definitely arrests presence especially in the soft top trim.
Climbing aboard is a pleasant experience and even more so in the new car with Force Motors having addressed the interiors. The big comfortable seats along with hand-rests are extremely comfortable, but we would have loved to see some body hugging contours on it so that you move around a lot less while tackling those terrains. There is also a two-tone dashboard which looks quite decent. Quality of components is pretty average with a lot of not so good looking and feeling bits but then it’s no different from its immediate competitor, the Mahindra Thar.
Ahead of you are the dials, which consist of a speedo, temperature- and fuel gauge with a tiny rev-counter placed under the air-con vents. The AC vents are hugely adjustable but the AC wasn't particularly strong and the lack of it was felt strongly during peak noon. The high perched view is great though and the Gurkha’s A-pillars do not rob you of any visuals which is important considering the narrow trails the Gurkha will be treading on.
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