Off-roading and off-road events are slowly gaining popularity in India like rest of the world. We have seen examples of tastefully modified SUVs that are ready to face any off-road challenge. Usually the videos that we see online show stock vehicle with some off-road friendly modifications but, things completely change if you are preparing an SUV for an off-road challenge. RFC or Rainforest Challenge is one of the toughest off-road competition in India and in order to prepare an SUV for this competition several changes have to be made. Here we have a video of Maruti Gypsy that has been extremely modified for RFC. What makes this Gypsy unique is its four wheel steering.
The video has been shared by Ex ARMY MALLU VLOGS on their Facebook page. In this video vloggers talks about all the modifications that have been made to the Gypsy to make it more suitable for off-road competitions. The vehicle has been modified by R&T Auto catalyst which is off-road SUV building garage in Kerala. They have modified several SUVs for both off and on road purposes and have also restored several vintage cars and SUVs. Sam Kurian Kalarickal who owns R&T Auto Catalyst briefly explains all the modifications that have been made to this SUV.
Sam starts by saying that, the bonnet and the windshield at the front is from a Maruti Gypsy. All the other panels and components on this Gypsy have been replaced. The engine on this Maruti Gypsy is a 1.6 litre unit from old Baleno sedan. The headlights are borrowed from Hero Xpulse and the power steering used here is from a truck. The gear box is from Gypsy but, the gear ratios have been changed. The chassis has been modified and reinforced and there are aluminium panels used at several places to reduce weight. It now gets 4 link suspension at front and rear. The car now sits on 35 inch off-road tyres that have been modified. They have chopped off some lugs on the tyre so that it provides more grip in tricky surfaces.
One of the unique feature in this modified Gypsy is its rear wheel steering. The rear wheel steering reduces the turning radius and that saves lot of time while you are participating in an off-road competition. Sam Kurian demonstrates how it actually works in the video. The rear wheel is controlled using a lever inside the driver cabin. It is using a cabin from a Bajaj Autorickshaw to control this mechanism. The rear wheels turn in the opposite direction of the front wheels to reduce the turning radius. Apart from this, the Gypsy gets bucket seats, electric winch both at front and rear, auxiliary lamps, roll cage and so on.
Sam can be heard saying that, they have several other SUVs in their garage that are being modified for such competitions. He makes clear in the video that these SUVs are not something that you are allowed to drive on road. These SUVs are specially built for competitions and are transported from their garage to the competition venue in a flat bed.