Since the inception of Maruti, hardly any vehicle from the manufacturer has gone out of the memory of car lovers. However, there are little-known cars from the brand that the younger generation have begun to forget. Not surprising, since they have never seen most of them on the roads. Make no mistake, all of them are remembered fondly by enthusiasts even today. So here are ten forgotten cars from Maruti.
Maruti SS 80 was the first hatchback from the brand and the Maruti 1000 was the first sedan from the manufacturer. It was sold as the Cultus in the international market. The sedan was considered a premium car when it was launched in 1990, powered by a 970cc petrol engine. The low weight of 825 kg made the 1000 a fun to drive vehicle.
Omni high roof
The Omni was a massive success for Maruti in India. To offer more space, Maruti offered the high-roof version of the multipurpose vehicle. However, people were more than happy with the regular version of the Omni and never really looked towards the more spacious cousin of the car.
While the regular Zen started off a great favourite and is still a bit of a cult car in the Indian market, the Zen Classic never made an impression in the minds of the vast Indian population. The Zen Classic was a result of Maruti’s decision to add some retro touch to the Zen. It featured the same shape as the regular Zen but had a different three-piece grille and round headlamps. The bumper was also a steel bar – something the market did not care for.
The name Vitara is very common in the Indian market now because of the Vitara Brezza. The Grand Vitara though did not click, despite coming to India twice. This was a CBU SUV from Maruti that was only offered with a 2.4-litre petrol engine. There were only very few buyers of the vehicle in India due to the high price tag and petrol fuel. Eventually it joined the ranks of the forgotten.
India has never been a market for station wagons – and manufacturers took some time to figure that out. One such entry was Altura that was based on the Baleno sedan. The estate version of the sedan was powered by the 1.6-litre petrol engine but there were not many takers for the vehicle.
The MUV from Maruti was targetted at the customers who wanted an upgrade from the versatile Omni. The Versa was sold as Suzuki Carry in the international markets and was promoted by none other than Amitabh Bachchan in India. However, the hefty price tag did not make it popular in the market.
Zen Carbon and Steel
These special editions of the Zen were the only two-door hatchbacks from Maruti ever. The Zen Carbon and Steel were an enthusiast’s delight but were extremely limited in numbers. Maruti launched only 50 units each of both the vehicles and they sold pretty quickly. However, very few remember the sporty Zen twins anymore.
The A-Star came out at the wrong time in India. The big-eyed hatchback was a fun to drive vehicle but the price tag kept the customers away from it. The A-Star had become a good success for the brand in the international markets but sadly, in India, the car remains on the forgotten list.
There was a time when the popularity of diesel fuel was rising due to the extreme price difference between petrol and diesel. Maruti Zen, which was a pretty successful car, was introduced in a diesel avatar in 1996. It was powered by a 1.5-litre diesel engine sourced from Peugeot that generated around 58 Bhp – 78 Nm. However, the car did not attract much customers and remains a rare vehicle.
The Kizashi is known as one of the most affordable CBU vehicles in India. However, the big price tag and the Suzuki logo along with the petrol engine did not favour the vehicle at that period of time. The Kizashi still looks modern on the Indian roads and carried a very futuristic design. Sadly, the car did not gain much popularity in the market and was forgotten easily.