Force Gurkha automatic under evaluation

A JATCO-sourced auto (inset) is expected to be used on the Gurkha.

The popular Force Gurkha SUV may get an automatic gearbox, Autocar India can report. Force Motors is looking to broaden the appeal of its SUV, which got a significant refresh just last month. Priced from Rs 16.75 lakh, the Gurkha is now available in 3-door and 5-door form, comes with a more powerful 140hp diesel engine, and loads more features than before.

However, the lack of a more affordable 4x2 variant, and that it only comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox, does relegate the Gurkha to a more niche vehicle, one less focused on urban buyers. This aspect comes into even sharper relief when viewed in the context of its rivals, the Maruti Suzuki Jimny and Mahindra Thar. While the former gets automatic variants, the latter has automatic and 4x2 versions, along with a smaller diesel engine option, giving these SUVs a broader appeal.

  1. Force Gurkha AT likely to use a JATCO-sourced gearbox 
  2. Will come with a 7-speed torque convertor automatic
  3. Expected to be priced at around Rs 1 lakh more 

Sources tell us that Force Motors is evaluating using an automatic transmission sourced from Japanese company JATCO (Japan Automatic Transmission Company), which also supplies the Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger’s CVT gearbox. In fact, JATCO makes CVTs for hybrid vehicles abroad, CVTs for small, medium and large front-wheel drive models, and a number of torque convertor automatics, ranging from 4- and 6-speed units for front-wheel drive cars, and 5-, 7-, and 9-speed units for RWD models.

For the Gurkha, Force Motors is looking at a 7-speed torque convertor unit, which will help deliver all the bottom-end torque needed by this rough-roader, and work well in conjunction with the SUV’s 4WD gear. Compared to the Gurkha in manual form, the addition of the automatic will see the model’s price increase by about Rs 1 lakh, which would mean the Gurkha 3-door AT is expected to be priced in the Rs 18 lakh region, while the Gurkha 5-door is likely to cost around Rs 19 lakh, ex-showroom.

When compared to the Mahindra Thar diesel 4x4 automatic variants, which are priced between Rs 17 lakh and Rs 17.6 lakh, the Gurkha AT (in 3-door guise) may have a slightly higher asking price. Whether it will translate to more sales for Force Motors is something only time will tell. In order to reach a wider audience, the brand has already begun work on a Gurkha 4x2 to directly take on the Thar RWD.

All prices, ex-showroom, India

Also see:

2024 Force Gurkha 5 door review: Bigger is better

2024 Force Gurkha image gallery

New Force Gurkha vs Mahindra Thar: specifications comparison

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