The Mahindra Thar CRDe has been a favourite choice for off-road enthusiasts for a while now. However, from what Rahul's said about the new Force Gurkha Xplorer in his first drive review, the Thar might finally have a worthy competitor. While you'll have to wait a little longer before we do a full-blown comparison review between the two, here's how they stack up against each other on paper.
The Mahindra Thar runs a BS-IV compliant 2.5-litre common-rail turbo-diesel engine that produces 106PS of power at 3,800rpm and 247Nm of torque between 1,800-2,000rpm. It comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox and is rear-wheel driven with a BorgerWarner 4x4 transfer case that has high- and low-drive ratios. In comparison, the Force Gurkha Xplorer gets a less powerful 2.6-litre common-rail turbo-diesel engine. This unit, which was made BS-IV compliant this year, produces 85PS of power at 3,200rpm and 230Nm of torque from 1,400-2,400rpm. It too gets a 5-speed manual transmission and is rear-wheel driven with a 4x4 transfer case that offers high-and low-drive ratios.
The Force Gurkha Xplorer gets an independent suspension set-up at the front with coil springs, shock absorbers and an anti-roll bar. At the rear, it features a multi-link set-up with coil springs, shock absorbers and an anti-roll bar. The Thar, on the other hand, has an independent front suspension with torsion and stabiliser bars. At the rear, it gets leaf springs and shock absorbers.
Coming to the axles, the Mahindra Thar has got a full-floating unit at the front, while the rear gets a semi-floating unit. The rear axle also gets a mechanical locking differential which, although not the same as a limited-slip differential, performs the same function sending power to the wheel with traction, in low-traction conditions, without any intervention from the driver.
The Force Gurkha Xplorer has the same axle set-up with a full-floating unit at the front and a semi-floating unit at the rear. However, instead of a mechanical locker like in the Thar, the Gurkha Xplorer features individual manual differential locks at the front and rear. So using the levers inside to activate the differential locks, you'll be able to ensure that equal power is sent to both wheels irrespective of how much traction each one has.
While we can't tell you which of these vehicles is more capable off-road until we do a proper comparison test, we can give you some numbers. With respect to the approach angle, the Thar has a bit of an advantage at 44° compared to the Gurkha Xplorer's 39°. However, the departure angles for both cars are identical at 27°. With respect to ground clearance, the Gurkha has the edge with 210mm, compared to the Thar's 200mm. The Gurkha's ramp over angles will be a little better too since its wheelbase is 30mm shorter at 2,400mm.
Neither Mahindra nor Force Motors has updated their prices since GST came into effect. So for now, we'll give you the ex-showroom Delhi price pre-GST. The Mahindra Thar CRDe costs Rs 8.89 lakh while the Force Gurkha costs Rs 9.36 lakh.