As the Indian auto market matures over time, more and more manufacturers are entering the fray. But even the home grown manufacturers that were trading in the commercial segment have become ambitious with passengers cars.
Companies like Premier Auto and Force Motors decided that they wanted a piece of the action. However, developing a car grounds up is a tedious affair that requires massive investment and years of expertise. What is the next best solution?
Re-engineer existing ones.
Force Motors, famous for their Trax and Traveller utility vehicles, decided that a passenger SUV is the logical extension to the brand. They decided to borrow a Guangdong Foday Explorer and re-engineer it for the Indian market. In its testing phase, the Force One was spy photographer’s delight. A total of 15 prototypes travelled more than 7,00,000 kilometers from the length and breadth of the country. So what does the Force One offer?
While we are going gaga over the compact SUV that's changing the face of the Indian market, ‘Compact’ is not the word that comes to your mind when you see the Force One; ENORMOUS works just fine.
If it’s all about dimensions, Force One is easily the biggest SUV in its class. In fact, it is just slightly smaller than the Ford Endeavour that too without a spare wheel hanging on to its back. In fact, the Foday Explorer was a Chinese imitation of the Ford Endeavour and hence the connection is logical and valid.
Dimension wise, the Force One is 4,860mm long, 1,780mm wide and 1,885mm high. With its massive spread, the Force One is an imposing SUV on the roads with oodles of street presence. Park it next to a family hatchback and it feels as if a father is taking his little kiddo for a walk.
Up front, Force Motors has tried to reduce its resemblance with the Foday by providing dual projector headlamps and daytime running lamps along with a chrome grill. Unfortunately, the headlamp assembly has no aesthetic design and just looks like an aftermarket job.
The chrome grill looks good and the huge Force logo in red is like a cherry on the cake. Our test car came with a lot of accessories like a bull guard and a bonnet mirror which are not part of the standard car. The foglamps embedded in chicken wire along with chrome surrounds add to the aesthetic appeal of the Force One.
Moving to the side profile, you notice that the Force One is like a mini bus.
The massive 16 inch, 5 spoke alloy wheels are wrapped with All terrain Apollo hawks tyres. The flared wheel arches and the simple side profile is very ‘old school’ SUV design. The gap between the tyres and arches is humongous making the Force One look slightly jacked up.
Another touch to make the Force One look a bit premium are the side indicator integrated OVRMs. They provide an excellent visibility around the car.
The Force One is quite a tall SUV with 205 mm of ground clearance thus old people with leg problems may find it difficult to get in and out of the car. So Force Motors has equipped it with side steps for convenient ingress and egress. Roof rails give the Force One the typical outdoorsy look of an SUV. Our test car also came with vent visors which are a dealer accessory.
Strangely, the fuel cap did not shut properly and our car was just driven 4,000 km.
The rear is where the Force One drops the ball. Toyota Qualis like lamps at the rear look very dated.
Though there are some nice touches such as dual barrel exhaust pipes, chrome doorstep and stop light integrated rear spoiler, the rear is not best looking part of the car. The spare tyre finds its place below the body.
Overall, some bits and pieces of the Force One’s design manage to impress you and others just disappoint out rightly. The Force One is a very SUV 101 design that is not up to mark with current SUV designs. Designs like the Ford EcoSport, Renault Koleos, Mahindra XUV500 have brought curves to the table and the boxy SUVs are becoming a thing of the past. The Force One comes across as a simpleton in a rather fashion conscious world.