The Maruti 800 can be said to be the Ford Model T of India. The Ford Model T was among the first vehicles made by the Ford Motor Company and was designed as a practical, affordable means of transportation for the common man. It quickly became known for its low cost, durability, versatility, and ease of maintenance among others. Many say that it is the car that mobilized the world. The same attributes can be applied for the Maruti 800 in India. It is the car that mobilized India and even though it is discontinued now, it is a common sight on the road. However, we doubt if you would have ever seen a Maruti 800 doing some serious off-road. The video below by MAGNETO 11 shows the same. Check out the video before we move further on this topic.
The car seen in the video is actually a heavily modified Maruti 800. It has been modified by the same guys who in past have created many versions of 800 including Hummer look and sports car look among others. Also, if you thought that this mod 800 was going to scale mountains when we said off-roading, you took that wrong. The word off-road here is used relatively, going by the Maruti 800’s capabilities. It is pretty impressive to see an 800 tame such rocky terrain and other irregular surfaces at decent speeds, without any major hiccup.
The mod guys have done quite a lot of work on this car for sure. The whole upper frame of the car has been replaced with a custom made frame. The front and rear bumpers have been replaced by new, off-road inspired units. The bonnet has been raised and now includes a rectangular chunk. The front grille is a new unit draped in silver while the turn indicators above the stock headlamps are taken from the Thar. No mod job is complete without a new set of alloys and the same has been done here. The roof gets auxiliary lights and the doors are custom made units.
Other internals of the car have not been tinkered with and the engine along with other main mechanical bits remain the same. The roof is made of camouflage shade canvas which can be rolled/unrolled as per need. The interiors are largely stock with some new upholstery. However, the rear section gets parallel seat arrangement, reminding one of the Mahindra Thar. The body has been strengthened a bit as it does quite well on the rough surface but then let’s not forget that the Maruti 800 was a very rugged built car itself.
Talking of which, the Maruti 800 was first launched here in 1983 and it started off with a 796cc, 3 cylinder F8D petrol engine. This engine still does duty on various Maruti cars such as the Alto 800 and the Omni. It is probably the most used engine of India with a huge number of cars using it under their hood. It initially produced 35 Bhp of power which then went up to 45 Bhp on the 5 speed-MPFI model. In its present form on the Maruti Alto 800, a heavily reworked version of the F8D engine now makes 47 Bhp of power along with 69 Nm of torque.
As for this modified 800, the way it tackles the rough terrain show how nicely the car was built. It is not uncommon to see the first generation SS80 model of the car still running on roads perfectly as if they are just out of the service station. The Maruti 800, therefore, will always be known as the car that mobilised India and is still going strong in various avatars like the one here.