Force Motors to build an MPV based on the Mercedes Benz Viano; Launch by December 2013!
Force Motors has been building a range of vehicles based on Daimler and Mercedes Benz platforms. The likes of the Tempo Traveler(Now called the Force Traveler), the Gurkha SUV and the Trax MUV are chief examples. The automaker recently launched a rebadged Chinese SUV, called the Force One, which has failed to find favour with SUV buyers in the country give the minimal brand awareness that Force Motors enjoys in the passenger car segment. While the company has been increasing its dealership and brand reach across the country, the results are yet to show.
Come December 2013, Force Motors will launch its second product in the passenger car segment, in the form of a 8 seat MPV based on the Viano platform. While this is something that was known previously, we now have a launch timeframe for the Force Motors MPV. The Mercedes Benz Viano platform is quite a versatile and luxurious one, although the MPV Force Motors is expected to build might be shorn of many creature comforts given that it will take on the likes of the Toyota Innova and the Maindra Xylo. The Force Motors MPV will be available in standard and luxury variants.
While the Viano that is sold internationally is available in a range of three lengths, ranging from 4.8 meters to 5.2 meters, expect the shorter version to make it to the Indian market in the form of the Force Motors MPV. While the international version of the Viano, made and sold by Mercedes Benz comes with a range of petrol and diesel engines, the Indian version of the Viano is expected to carry over the 2.2 Liter common rail, turbo diesel engine that powers the Force One SUV. This 140 Bhp-320 Nm turbo diesel engine is a Daimler unit, understandably so as most of Force Motors’ vehicles comes with Daimler engines given that Force Motors assembles engines for Mercedes Benz in India.
The gearbox is expected to be a manual, 5 speed unit. The Force Motors MPV is expected to be rear wheel driven, just like the Viano. While the Viano does come with the 4MATIC all wheel drive option, the Force Motors MPV is expected to make do with the two wheel drive layout. Expect ABS and Airbags to be offered on the Force Motors MPV as well given that almost every MPV in the Indian market comes with these features, at least as optional equipment. The cost of the Force One MPV could be in the whereabouts of the 10 lakh rupee mark.