Maruti Suzuki has no plans to bring the Jimny (Gypsy successor) in its original three-door format
It is not news that Maruti Suzuki’s Gypsy is unavailable for general Indian buyers. The compact petrol-powered 4WD vehicle (or mini-SUV) debuted in the country back in December 1985. Following a few mechanical upgrades alongside almost zero visual enhancements, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) finally discontinued the Gypsy in March 2019 since it could not meet the time’s safety regulations. Bookings were closed in December 2018.
However, the Indian automaker continues to manufacture it for Defence personnel. Officially, the Indian Army had replaced the Gypsy with Tata Motors’ Safari Storme 4×4 mid-size SUV in GS800 category (General Service vehicle with 800kg payload).
The military-spec Maruti Suzuki Gypsy remains in BS4 specifications. Essential equipment such as ABS, airbags, parking sensors or basic crash protection is non-existent in the SJ410 long-wheelbase Suzuki Jimny (second generation; global production ranged from 1981 to 1998). To date, it is sold in decent numbers for a vehicle that is not available to the wider segment of buyers.
Maruti Suzuki sold 541 Gypsy units in July 2020. In comparison, sales hit 718 units in June 2020. The July 2020 lot included white and military green shades in soft-top and open-top formats. Interiors are pretty basic since the focus has always been on utility. The Maruti Suzuki Gypsy is simple yet capable in terms of engineering. It can easily take a lot of abuse. Maruti Suzuki’s service network, which extends to even the remotest parts of India, is an added bonus as well.
In its latest avatar, the Maruti Suzuki Jimny gets a 1.3-litre G13BB MPFI NA petrol four-cylinder engine making 80bhp @ 6,000rpm and 103Nm @ 4,500rpm. This is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission that sends power to all four wheels via two-speed transfer box. At a kerb weight of just 985kg, the Gypsy is a decent performer for its age and internals.
The original 1986MY MG410 model came with a carburetted F10A 970cc four-cylinder engine good for almost 45bhp @ 5,500rpm and 72Nm @ 3,000rpm. It had a 4-speed manual transmission.
Indian automotive enthusiasts have been waiting for the fourth-generation Suzuki Jimny ever since it debuted globally about two years back. However, Maruti Suzuki does not see potential in its original and desirable 3-door AWD format. Furthermore, the company has plans to introduce a dialled-down 5-door FWD version. Interestingly, a few CKD Jimny units have made their way to India.