Maruti Gypsy is a name that is synonymous with off-roading and rally enthusiasts in India. The iconic, boxy styled SUV has pretty much remained unchanged since its launch in 1985. The Gypsy has also served the nation for the good part of the last 3 decades. It has been the go-to vehicle for the armed forces and police forces and has served in the Army, Navy, Air Force and still continues to serve the nation.
It has a cult following among off-roading, rally and automobile enthusiasts, despite lacking several creature comforts such as A/C and Power steering. The other reason being no-nonsense mechanicals that can be fixed easily and lack of electronics. Fewer electronics translates to fewer problems and failures.
Sadly though, Maruti has discontinued the production of Gypsy. In an official email communicated to its dealers, Maruti has informed that no production or dispatch of any variants of the Gypsy will happen further and has asked dealers not to take any new orders for the same. Maruti has to completely re-engineer the product from scratch to meet the upcoming safety regulations. Meagre sales figures is another reason that prevented Maruti from investing in R&D of its successor.
A little history about the Gypsy
The Gypsy was the third car that Maruti launched after the Maruti 800 and The Omni. It is built on a ladder on chassis frame and is a rear wheel drive vehicle with the part-time 4-wheel drive system. The 4-wheel drive transfer case has both low and high ratios. At the time of launch, it came with a 1.0 Litre, carbureted engine. It was codenamed MG410. MG410 stands for Maruti Gypsy 4 Cylinder, 1.0 Litre engine. This engine developed 45 BHP and was mated to a 4-speed gearbox. Later, a wide track version was introduced where the track width was increased by 90mm. This was codenamed the MG410W, the W standing for wide track. The track width was increased to prevent the vehicle from toppling over. The wide track versions are easily recognizable by a more pronounced fender.
The year 1996 saw the Gypsy receiving the 1.3 Litre carbureted engine from Maruti Esteem. Power output increased to 60 BHP. This version was called “The Gypsy King” and was codenamed MG413W. The King also received visual upgrades in terms of different grill design and a pronounced bulge on the hood. In March 2000, the MPFI engine was introduced and power output increased to 80 BHP. It remained the same until the end of production in 2019.
The Gypsy King will forever be remembered as one the very best true-blue off-roader this country has ever seen. Goodbye King!
Image: Courtesy of Team-BHP
Cover Image: Courtesy of Maruti Suzuki India
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