The Maruti Gypsy 4×4 is powered by a outdated 1.3-liter naturally aspirated petrol engine
When the Indian Armed Forces selected the Tata Safari Storme 4×4 as their vehicle of choice for the GS800 class (General Service vehicle with 800 kg payload) back in 2018 with an order for over 3,000 units, the SUV was supposed to replace the good old Maruti Gypsy. As it turns out, our defence forces still loves their Gypsy so much so that they ordered a fresh batch of 718 Gypsy’s last month.
It is to be noted that the Maruti Gypsy is no longer sold to private buyers due to inadequate safety features and a BS4 engine. However, the Army trusts the old SUV’s ruggedness, ease of use and off-road capability enough to replenish its General Service fleet with new units.
One of the other main reasons for the Army continuing to prefer the Maruti Gypsy 4×4 is its simple hardware configuration which makes it easy to maintain and repair. With these vehicles mostly deployed in remotest of the locations, being simple enough to make on-the-spot repairs becomes an important requisite.
The Gypsy is powered by a 1.3-liter petrol engine which was phased out from Maruti’s passenger car portfolio long time ago. On board the compact SUV, the motor produces 80 hp and 103 Nm of torque which may be very modest but it gets the job done for the Army, thanks to a proven 4×4 system.
As far as equipment goes, the outdated utility vehicle is as bare bones as it can be. There are no ABS, airbags, parking sensors, seat belt reminders and so on. The chassis is so old, it may not pass the current crash test norms.
It remains to be seen if there will be future orders for the Maruti Gypsy from the Army or this was the last batch. It is being reported that Maruti is not forthcoming with a comment regarding the recently delivery of Gypsies. Having phased out the model already, sourcing the components from vendors for a limited special-purpose production run must have been quite a task for the automaker but if any OEM can manage it, it is Maruti.
The India Army-spec Maruti Gypsy is painted in the quintessential olive green shade and come equipped with steel wheels and off-road ready tyres. It remains to be seen how the new order for the Gypsy will affect the prospects for a future order for the GS800-spec Tata Safari Storme 4×4.