Maruti Suzuki Gypsy the ultimate off roader in INDIA, you’ve witnessed on the roads of Himalayas, you’ve seen them conquering the Great Indian Desert then you’ve seen them spinning its wheels in the Western Ghats!!! No matter where you’ve seen them these are just spectacular!!! Gypsy has the bold looks just derived out of a ruler, just bold with its rectangular macho looking front end with rounded headlamps. The front grill is so manly, enough to conquer any one’s attention. With the roof off this two door is just pure adrenaline pumping machine.
The moment you see a gypsy it makes you go back to the time when you were just 6-years old. It’s design features very simple and straight styling and that’s enough to impress any person who loves four-wheels. This is available in two versions, one was the soft-top and the other one was a hard-top. The beauty of the soft-top version was you could completely take off the roof and drive with just the windshield and the other option was you could even manually tilt the windshield such that it was not there to obstruct the ‘wind in your head’ experience! The side’s of the gypsy has two wheel arches which is covered by a plastic wheel arch cover, this really helped in getting out that manly feeling which the gypsy was to offer. The spare wheel was mounted on the rear door, which was aligned towards the right-hand corner of the door.
The interiors have a pretty good feel and you are high up as-well as that, planted secure feel. The gear lever is placed such that you enjoy the pure feel of the manual gearbox and the manual steering, it’s an absolute joy to drive a gypsy. Maruti Suzuki has even provided with a air-blower which is a very thoughtful feature. There is a lockable glove compartment and a grab-handle featured in the dashboard of the gypsy. The doors have manual windows and the doors could be removed by just using a screwdriver when needed. Rear seats are side facing pretty much primitive but can accommodate 8 people in the vehicle with ease, the rear seats can be modified by a local dealer and make them front facing seats which can accommodate 5 people with good comfort levels. Leg room even in the front can house a six footer with ease but there might be a small issue with the indicator and wiper stalks touching the knees. Visibility is fair enough for a compact SUV and the windshield is comparatively small but its adequate enough to provide good visibility in rough terrains.
Gypsy is derived from Suzuki “SJ” series of compact off roaders. In India it was introduced in December 1985, this is a three door wagon body type, four wheel drive vehicle. It is powered by a 4-cylinder 940cc gasoline engine producing 45 BHP of power. The Gypsy’s which first rolled out of maruti Suzuki had a tag “MG410” which stood for “Maruti Gypsy 4 cylinder 1.0 liter engine” and globally Suzuki produced the same engines codenamed F10A. This was mated to a manual four speed gear box which had a transfer case to four-wheel drive system. The four-wheel drive system had 4wd-H (four wheel-drive high) and 4wd_L (four wheel-drive low). This had adequate power to conquer the rough Indian terrain, but people complained about that the Gypsy was quite underpowered on the highways. The Gypsy was offered with locking mechanism which locked the front axle to the hub when four wheel drive was engaged. The locking mechanism could be freed when four wheel drive was not engaged, this provided with better fuel consumption figures.
The suspension set-up was pretty simple which used leaf-springs. This provided the vehicle with the best ground-clearance, but had a flaw of uncomfortable ride, the SJ series of Suzuki’s vehicles are known for this flaw which even Maruti didn’t try to mend.
Over the years there were three variants of the Gypsy which rolled out, the first one was the Gypsy which was produced in the years 1985 to 1994, this had a narrow track. Then Maruti Suzuki rolled out the Gypsy MG410W 1994 to 2000, this was a wide track vehicle which the front and rear tracks of the vehicle was increased to 90mm when compared to the old vehicle.
In June 1996 maruti Suzuki swapped the engine from the ‘Esteem’ which was much more powerful. It was an all aluminum 8-valve G13BA engine which had a displacement of 1.3-liters. This was much more efficient and a lot powerful, producing 65 BHP of peak power, mated to a 5-speed gearbox. This was the “Gypsy King”.
In 2000 Maruti Suzuki rolled out the Gypsy King, this witnessed a slight change in the front grill and had a Maruti logo up in the front. This new beast housed a new G13BB MPFI-16 valve, 4-cylinder 1298cc engine which produced 80 BHP of power at 4500 RPM. This vehicle is unbeatable off-the road even till today.
People who dream of owning a second hand gypsy, I prefer them buying a Gypsy King which is much more powerful and parts can be a direct swap from the Esteem. Watch out for worn front hub, bearings and missing leaf-springs. And people who would prefer buying the Gypsy which rolled out in 1985 or after should look out for the transfer case and the hub locking mechanism, this locking mechanism can only be engaged when the vehicle is at a complete standstill, and manufactured by ‘aisn’.
From the “Raid-de-Himalaya” to the southern tip Kanyakumari, the Gypsy has conquered them all. Rally team across India scavenge a Gypsy for its ruggedness. Many home grown creators have come out with custom bolt-on parts for this vehicle which adds a new zing. This vehicle was launched at the time when Premier Padmini’s were dominating the streets, but the Gypsy came and is being used by law enforcers and forest guards till this date. This is one vehicle which will simply stand out of the crowd!
Maruti Gypsy King Technical Specifications
Maruti MG413W “Gypsy King”
- Length 4,010 mm (157.9 in)
- Width 1,540 mm (60.6 in)
- Height 1875/1845 mm*
- Wheelbase 2,375 mm (93.5 in)
- Front Track 1,300 mm (51.2 in)
- Rear Track 1,310 mm (51.6 in)
- Kerb Weight 985 kg/1, 040 kg*
- Gross Vehicle Weight 1585 kg/1,620 kg*
- Type G13BB MPFI 16 Valve Gasoline
- Cylinders 4
- Displacement 1298 cc
- Maximum Power 80 bhp (60 kW; 81 PS) @6000 rpm
- Maximum Torque 103 N·m
- Transmission Type Five forward (all Synchromesh), One reverse
- Transfer gearbox Two-speed
- Type constant mesh
- Transfer gear ratio High : 1.409; Low : 2.268
- Suspension Front and Rear Leaf spring with Double action damper
Brakes with Booster
- Front Disc 250 mm
- Rear Drum 220 mm
- Tyres F78-15-4 PR 205/70R15
- Fuel tank 40 L
- Engine oil 4 L
– Rajeev Raj