Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has discontinued its tried-and-tested 1.3-litre diesel mill ahead of BS6-implementation. End of an era.
Often regarded as ‘The National Diesel Engine’, the BS4-compliant 1.3-litre Fiat SDE MJD four-cylinder mill has finally reached the end of its production. Fiat shared its initial plans to phase out the popular engine ahead of mandatory BS6-implementation, back in September 2017. The decision came as a direct result of Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki (two of the main clients who employed the 1.3 MJD) developing their own diesel power plants. This gave a hard blow to Fiat’s revenue charts and the company found it best to discontinue the engine in due course.
On 23rd January 2020, Fiat kept its word and the legendary engine saw its last unit — #810829 — roll out from FCA’s manufacturing facility in Ranjangaon, Pune. Sameer Ajgaonkar who works at the plant shared on Facebook that the 1.3-litre MJD had “directly and indirectly supported thousands of families” and helped in creating many employment opportunities. Total production stood at 9,60,719.
He also praised the engine’s excellent design which makes it easy to manufacture, fit and repair while boasting of excellent fuel efficiency and class-leading durability. The 1.3-litre MJD was effortlessly tunable and a good tuner or remap module could easily bring out amazing results without hindering the motor’s life.
It is safe to say to that more than half the diesel engines running on Indian roads at present, employ the 1.3-litre SDE MJD. ‘SDE MJD’ stands for ‘Small Diesel Engine – Multi-Jet Direct injection’ and comes under Fiat’s common-rail diesel range known as JTD (Jet Turbo Diesel).
If you are not familiar with the nomenclature, ‘SDE MJD’, names such as Quadrajet (Tata Motors), Duratorq TDCi (Ford) and of course, DDiS (Maruti Suzuki) might ring a bell. For the last Fiat India products, the engine came as the ‘Multijet II’. Outside the Indian market, the engine was popular among the likes of Chevrolet, Citroen, Lancia, Opel, Suzuki and Peugeot.
Of course, the base 1.3-litre SDE MJD was not a direct fitment into various products (especially hatchbacks and small sedans) from the brand’s mentioned above. Instead, manufacturers worked over the original design to create their own engine characteristics. The changes were done mostly to the pressure of the common-rail injection system, turbocharger, timing system, camshafts, etc.
In its most popular 1,248cc DDiS avatar that has served in multiple Maruti Suzuki products over the years, the SDE MJD made around 74-90bhp and 190-200Nm of torque. The engine was usually seen coupled to a 5-speed manual, but a few torque-converter and AMT units were also employed alongside. Popular cars using this engine over the years are Maruti Swift, Baleno, Dzire, Ciaz, Ertiga, Brezza; Tata Bolt, Zest, Indica, Indigo; Fiat Punto, Linea and others.