Think G-Wagen and Mercedes' boxy and robust SUV immediately come to mind. Originally meant for military purposes only, it has since gained a cult-like following and is a favorite of the 4x4 community. It has also become a popular choice for the rich and famous.
Despite being over 40 years old, there seem to be no signs of Mercedes-Benz stopping further development of the SUV. The company even made an all-electric concept of the G Wagen called the EQG. However, they did drop the 3-door variant with the current-generation model. So if you want a 3-door G-Class, you will have to find an older model. Alternatively, there's also the SUV we have here.
This is the 2021 Gurkha, and it looks somewhat like a miniature version of the 3-door G Wagen. But don't be fooled; this is not built by Mercedes-Benz. Instead, it's made by Indian automaker Force Motors.
Now on its latest generation, the G-Wagen look-alike is set to compete against the likes of the Mahindra Thar. But unlike its nearest competitor, the Gurkha has some extra features the Mahindra lacks.
For starters, the Force Gurkha has an air intake snorkel as standard. This allows the SUV to take on floods without having to worry about the intake. With its claimed 700mm water-wading capability, the Gurkha can ford through high waters with ease.
Need to carry plenty of cargo? The Gurkha comes standard with a roof rack as well. With the vehicle's limited dimensions, the roof rack will help carry the extra load. Other key highlights the SUV has are the muscular fenders, unpainted bumpers for extra body protection, the all-terrain tires, and a 5.65-meter turning radius for easier maneuverability.
When it comes to its interior design, the Gurkha is pretty much spartan. It gets a simple gauge cluster, an array of aircon vents, and manual air-conditioning. However, it does come with a touchscreen infotainment system to entertain the driver and passengers. And despite only being a 4-seater, Force Motors installed captain seats at the back for added comfort.
Don't expect to find any buttons to set the 4WD system. In keeping with the “spartan” theme of the vehicle, the 4WD system can be activated via a traditional lever on the center console. Even the locking differentials for the front and rear can only be activated via a set of dials.
Under the hood, the Gurkha is powered by a Mercedes-Benz-derived 2.6-liter common rail diesel engine. It makes a modest 90 PS along with 250 Nm of torque. No automatic transmissions here as the Gurkha can only be mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox.
Prices for the Force Gurkha have yet to be revealed. But the company does plan on launching it this September 27, 2021.
Could the Force Gurkha 4x4 make sense in the country? Let us know in the comments.