2012 Force One SUV to get a new variant next month: ABS plus 4X4 mode likely?
The Force One SUV was launched in rear wheel drive guise and during the time of the launch, both ABS as well as airbags weren’t offered on the SUV, even as optional equipment. Also, the 4X4 four wheel drive option, which is almost de-facto on SUVs, was also missing on the Force One. The Force One, with distinct Chinese roots, given that it is a rebadged and re-engineered version of the Gunagdong Foday Explorer SUV, has been a dud seller at the hustings given that it has to compete with well known SUVs, like Tata’s Safari and Mahindra’s Scorpio, which come along with much better distribution and marketing.
To increase interest in the Force One SUV, Force Motors plans to launch another variant, probably with ABS and 4X4 features. Airbags though, could take some more time to make it to the Force One as the automaker needs to re-engineer the SUV’s dashboard completely to incorporate the airbags feature. The Force One SUV features a 2.2 Liter 140 Bhp-320 Nm turbo diesel engine. This diesel engine is a Mercedes Benz unit and is mated to a five speed manual gearbox that drives the rear wheels of the SUV. The Force One SUV comes with a well sorted ride and handling package tuned by Lotus.
Also, the SUV has big road presence when compared to the Tata Safari and the Mahindra Scorpio, its main competitors. Also, the interiors are very spacious. The SUV is a seven seat model. Car buyers though, have continued to choose the likes of the Safari and the Scorpio over the Force One. In a bid to boost sales, Force One has even begun airing TV commercials featuring Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachhan over the past few weeks. The addition of the ABS and 4X4 system is expected to make the SUV a more attractive proposition.
Apart from launching a new variant of the Force One SUV, the Pune based automaker does have plans of launching more passenger vehicles in the coming months. A 7 seater MPV is expected to be the next big launch from Force Motors sometime in 2013, while the Gurkha on-off road SUV is another product. The Force Gurkha is expected to be launched with a new engine and revised styling to compete with the Mahindra Thar, which has carved out a niche for itself in India with a range of two engine options, DI and CRDI diesel versions.