Maruti Suzuki is convinced that 3 door cars are too inconvenient for India, and we’ve even had the automaker’s engineered head Mr. CV Raman clearly explaining this in multiple interviews. This made the Jimny a no-go for the Indian market. All that has changed now as Maruti Suzuki has put together a 5 door, long wheelbase version of the Jimny that’s meant for both Indian and international markets. Spyshots of the SUV being tested on Indian roads have surfaced. The 5 door, long wheelbase Jimny will make its debut at the 2023 Indian Auto Expo early next year, and will go on sale shortly after. The 5 door Jimny will rival the likes of the long wheelbase Mahindra Thar and Force Gurkha, both of which are expected to arrive next year.
Image courtesy ACI
As things stand today, the Suzuki Jimny sold abroad is available with 2 petrol engine options: a 1 liter-3 cylinder motor with 64 Bhp-94 Nm and a 1.5 liter-4 cylinder naturally aspirated (K15B) motor with 103 Bhp-138 Nm. While the smaller engine is mainly meant for the Japanese ‘Kei’ car market, the bigger engine is what the Jimny is sold with in most international markets.
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The bigger engine gets 5 speed manual and 4 speed torque converter automatic gearboxes, along with a four wheel drive transfer case that has low and high ranges. For the Indian market, Maruti Suzuki is expected to offer the 1.5 liter-4 cylinder K15C (evolution of the K15B engine) unit with 100 Bhp-135 Nm. 5 speed manual and 6 speed torque converter automatic gearboxes are likely to be offered as transmission options. The India-spec Jimny will also get a four wheel drive transfer case, with low and high ranges.
A body-on-frame SUV that’s meant to hold its own off the road, the Jimny gets independent suspension on all four wheels, and the off roader is in its fourth generation globally. In India, Maruti Suzuki introduced the Jimny in the form of the Gypsy way back in the 1980s. The Gypsy (2nd gen Jimny, also called the Samurai in many international markets) continued in production for over 3 decades before tightening emission and safety norms finally killed it in 2019. In that sense, the latest long wheelbase Jimny is a successor of the Gypsy in India. Why, Maruti Suzuki could even bring back the Gypsy nameplate given the massive brand value that the Gypsy brand has built up over the years.
Like the older Gypsy, the long wheelbase Jimny sold in India will be a petrol-only model. This could put the off-roader in a disadvantage of sorts as the competition – Mahindra Thar and Force Gurkha – both offer diesel engines. Diesel engines, with their higher torque and fuel efficiency, are generally preferred among off roaders in India. What the Jimny has going for it though is excellent off-road pedigree, proven reliability, a simpler mechanical design and of course, a sharper price tag (going by international prices). Over to the official unveil now.
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