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Old 6th June 2009, 14:36   #1
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Default Will Mahindra Bolero be the best off roader ever on Indian soil???

I was just spending time looking the specification sheets of jeeps, gypsy, gurkhas, the scorps and the retro willys...etc., and as I started striking relative comparos I was heading towards a dead end of thoughts with the new one- Mahindra Bolero vlx crde, well, if this machine comes out with a variant shodded with the 4x4 option, a soft top and diff lock mechanism (I know this one is wishful) will it become the king of off roading on Indian soil ever????? I understand that it doesnt have the GC prerequisite of a true offroader however that is something which can be acquired with bigger tyres or a suspension tweak.

As far as the diesel economy,refinement, power/torque figures, reliability and build quality is concerned I dont think this muttha has too many competitors from the OE standpoint as it is.

Bring in your thoughts...

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Old 6th June 2009, 14:46   #2
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Not really. Even with a 4x4 & diff locks, a Gypsy (suitably modded) or a Gurkha (with the right tyres) will leave the Bolero gasping.
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Old 6th June 2009, 14:52   #3
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GTO, could you reason it out a little more scientifically pls? Lets look at scientific reasoning than opinions, coz that will see no end!!! My intent is to arrive at a healthy conclusion over this thread unlike several others...

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Old 6th June 2009, 14:57   #4
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I remember a time when an automotive mag, mostly overdrive took Bolero into Himalayas. They provided an image where the suspension articulation was shown. Without doubt its good off-road.

But I feel that Gypsy is the best off roader to hit Indian roads. Gypsy itself is light in weight and with 1.3, it can take a lot in its stride. There are many videos available on youtube where they have used gypsy heavily for off-roading with success.

Sorry I am not into very very scientific explanations, but then its light weight, large tyres for its size and proven mechanicals are something many new cars cant beat. Indian army does not love Gypsy without reason. They have access to any indian vehicle, and they might be even using other vehicles, but Gypsy without doubt remains thier favourite.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 6th June 2009 at 15:00.
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Old 6th June 2009, 15:16   #5
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@aaggoswami, agree to your thoughts completely however I have a few notions on why army prefered Gypsies in comparison to other vehicles;
1. Those days when the army contemplated which vehicle would ve most suitable it didnt have too many options considering the diesels those days werent really reliable, the jap petrol engine reliability was the USP which meant most in the lines of its purpose. However, its no more the power horse in todays diesel evolution nor do todays diesels score less interms of reliability...
2. Gypsy's power to wight ratio definitley had its pluses with that 1.3l peppy mill then, well, today we have better options.
3. Cost of maintenance and ownership Im guessing was also a point of discussion for the army folks which is not a part of this disussion.

Lets not look at the cost factor, lets just dwell in thoughts of the ability and overall package advantage.

ps: Also, lets keep in mind the mahindra Axe and other vehicles the army is preferring today...well, gypsy is just a soft raoder for them today if you look at closely!!!

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Old 6th June 2009, 15:48   #6
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I can't agree that Bolero is the best off-roader in India. Nothing can beat JONGA.
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Old 6th June 2009, 15:55   #7
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Default DI-Turbo

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Not really. Even with a 4x4 & diff locks, a Gypsy (suitably modded) or a Gurkha (with the right tyres) will leave the Bolero gasping.
I don't think so, A 4x4 MDI3200TC & 5 -Speed solid axle Bolero can give the best a run for its money.

Its got good articulation, decent wheel travel, a robust chassis.

The Sad part is not many 4x4 Bolero (Types) are used in the 4x4 Events.

The Bolero is a very good platform for Further modifications.

Add the following and we'll have Good Road Speeds/Handling & versatile OTR Platform all with in 2000Kgs

1) Bigger Engine
2) LSD/Auto-Lockers
3) Gas-Charged Shock-Absorbers
4) SPOA for much Taller Tyres
5) Dana44 change the diff-ratio to what you will.
Regards,

Arka
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Old 6th June 2009, 16:28   #8
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Just a note to all, lets only discuss the OE package as there isnt any end to the mods you can make and evolving on that metric.

Our quest here is to understand whether we have a better competitor than a Bolero CRDe 4x4 (heard Mahindra will launch soon) for offroading purposes. Idea is to start thinking of an extremely uncompromised offroader which gives you decent creature comfort, highway cruising ability and great reliability as just value additions making it a better package in comparison to bone jarring & crude motivators.

The closest competitors are Gurkha, gypsy and a few jeeps however my gut tells me that gurkha is underpowered for its over all weight, the gypsy and the jeeps are only as good as a bolero, I havent heard of a terrain where the gypsy or jeep kept a 4x4 bolero behind given similarly talented drivers.

Your thoughts folks...

@dhrishikesh: You cant buy jongas anymore, its out of contention.

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Old 6th June 2009, 17:01   #9
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If you are talking OE only, then Gurkha leaves everything behind.
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Old 6th June 2009, 17:06   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
If you are talking OE only, then Gurkha leaves everything behind.
Some firm reasoning sir? I think gurkha is too bulky and underpowered to scale terrain nimbly. Also, dont u think without a massive tyre upgrade the gurkha can be a perfect sunko in slushy conditions with only so little power at tap, even with the diff locks and stuff. Also, the centre of gravity of a gurkha is debatable in my mind due to its relatively tall frame...

ps: a simple way of comparing would be to consider a terrain through which one will make and the other will not. Clearly, do u think there is a terrain where gurkha will make it and the Bolero will fail? Mind you, Bolero has lot of historic data to rely on, one of them is its proven reliability at very high altitude and foresaken terrain like ladakh, Himalayas to Thar desert. Ive also read several articles of Boleros taken to extremely unhabitable pockets and returning home safe and sound with least reliability or other issues!!!

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Old 6th June 2009, 17:16   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wolf View Post
Just a note to all, lets only discuss the OE package as there isnt any end to the mods you can make and evolving on that metric.

Our quest here is to understand whether we have a better competitor than a Bolero CRDe 4x4 (heard Mahindra will launch soon) .......

The closest competitors are Gurkha, gypsy and a few jeeps however my gut tells me that gurkha is underpowered for its over all weight, the gypsy and the jeeps are only as good as a bolero, I havent heard of a terrain where the gypsy or jeep kept a 4x4 bolero behind given similarly talented drivers.

Your thoughts folks...

@dhrishikesh: You cant buy jongas anymore, its out of contention.

Hi Wolf!
When did you hear that they are launchig 4wd crde bolero soon?? - I dont think M&M has any plans to launch the 4wd version of Crde. No volumes and hence they will not spend money to get this product homologated for India alone. ( Well if they do lauch it is welcome- but i dont see any chance as of now)

The reason for no volumes is that-

1. This is not a 4wd country
2. If built the price will be about 9.00 lakhs on road and hence one could buy a Scorpio getaway for that price or add one more lakh which is Rs 2,000 more EMI and you have Scorpio 4wd ith similar wheelbase and more powerful mechanicals at your dorstep

Bolero is a good offroader even in its present Xd3p form and gets better with Di turbo motor. Infact i can say Bolero 4wd is one of the last old school thorough 4wd station wagon made in India.

Though Bolero slx 4wd has nothing great about it but still it is the most value for money basic but fully loaded that your money can buy in India

Bolero Slx (fully loaded)4wd- 7.43 lakhs on road
Bolero Di turbo ( No a/c, No p/s)- 6.20 onroad
Gypsy- 6.2 on road (petrol)

Sumo 4wd (No p/s +No a/c) bs 3 engine- 8 lakhs on road!!!

Gurkha- about 9 lakhs+ on road

Now why Bolero is good if not the best?

1. Can cruise at 90-100 kmph on highway
2. Comes with solid axles (excellent for offroad), good articulation but bad ride
3. short gearing for better torque
4. Engines are basic and hence repair is easy in the wild
5. Bolero is easily customisable for off road usewith different axle ratio's, larger tyres, shakle lifts and if some body has money and guits even SPOA!
6. Can take beating underchassis just like old jeeps without bending anything like IFS lowerarms on other vehicles

Now which vehicle can do all this except for being able to cruise at 100 kmph?- None!! Bolero is extremely practical offroad with a little compromise onroad!!

Last edited by vinod_nookala : 6th June 2009 at 17:17.
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Old 6th June 2009, 17:20   #12
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I think all your opinion will change if mercedes benz Galaendewagen affectionately called here in US as the G is available in India.this monster is the off-roader with 3 differential locks,solid rigid axels both front and rear .It comes in 3 diff styles ,a short wheel base,a cabriolet both not available in US and a long wheel base(US) and have AMG version available.the diesel is very popular in europe.
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Old 6th June 2009, 17:24   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wolf View Post
GTO, could you reason it out a little more scientifically pls?
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wolf View Post
Just a note to all, lets only discuss the OE package as there isnt any end to the mods you can make and evolving on that metric.
Sure thing!

Don't want to argue with the guru (Arka), but the Gurkha & Gypsy will beat an OE Bolero CRDe 4x4 dry. Here's why:

1. Weight : Massive advantage to the super-light Gypsy, followed by Gurkha.

2. I believe the CRDe's dimensions allow only for an IFS. That's a disadvantage in my books (solid axle rocks!).

3. Ground clearance : Gurkha (235) > Gypsy (210) > Bolero (180).

4. Wheel base : Gypsy (2375) < Gurkha (2400) < Bolero (2680). The Bolero has the highest chance of ending up as a see-saw!

5. Size : The Gypsy can squeeze through places that the Bolero can only dream about.

6. Overhangs : Disadvantage Bolero here as well.

7. Visibility : Take the top of a Gypsy off and you have far superior visibility. Aids better offroadability.

8. Equipment : The Gurkha comes standard with diff-locks, front & rear.

I've seen one too many Bolero / Armada 4x4's struggling OTR to think of it as a formidable competitor to the Gypsy or the Gurkha. In terms of sheer offroadability, the Gurkha is the best you can buy under 10 lakhs.
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Old 6th June 2009, 17:39   #14
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Nicely put down GTO, loved the data driven base for explanations...

As I see it, the GC of the bolero is the biggest disadvantage. Do you think simple tyre upgrade can help this cause? I dont want to get into modifications and stuff but tyre upgrade is really not a "modification" per se...

Power to weight ratio, I think the Bolero is better off than a Gurkha isnt it? Could you put down that comparo pls?

We can sort out the differentiators and isolate them as we go ahead, may be finally we can arrive at something significantly meaningful, and sell it to M&M

Last edited by The Wolf : 6th June 2009 at 17:47.
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Old 6th June 2009, 17:49   #15
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Quote:
2. I believe the CRDe's dimensions allow only for an IFS. That's a disadvantage in my books (solid axle rocks!).



5. Size : The Gypsy can squeeze through places that the Bolero can only dream about.

6. Overhangs : Disadvantage Bolero here as well.




I've seen one too many Bolero / Armada 4x4's struggling OTR to think of it as a formidable competitor to the Gypsy or the Gurkha. In terms of sheer offroadability, the Gurkha is the best you can buy under 10 lakhs.
HI.
DUE RESPECTS TO YOU AND YOUR OFF ROADING ADVENTURES.

WELL, BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, BOLERO 4WD COMES WITH LEAF SPRINGS, SO IFS IS OUT.
ABOUT A GYPSY GOING PLACES WHERE A BOLERO CAN ONLY DREAM ABOUT, I THINK IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE DRIVERS MADNESS. I.E. IF U THINK U CAN U WILL.
OVERHANGS IN A BOLERO? WHERE?
ANYWAYS, I HAVE BOUGHT A BOLERO 4X4 BY TRADING IN MY 550, AND I TELL U ITS AS GOOD AS THE 550, IF NOT BETTER

Last edited by Jaggu : 30th June 2009 at 14:35. Reason: Please avoid typing in all capital letters, its bad net etiquette and used for shouting. Thanks
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