Indian army receives newly produced Maruti Gypsy 4x4 vehicles

In June 2019, Army Recognition reported that Maruti Suzuki India finally discontinued the Gypsy production on April 1, 2019. It was first launched in 1985. However, the Indian army needs 3,051 more units, which imposes briefly restarting its production.
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In June 2020, the Indian army took delivery of 718 new Maruti Gypsies (Picture source: Twitter account of Indian Defence News)

Maruti Gypsy’s production was discontinued due to the car failing to meet upcoming crash tests and CO² emission norms. After the Indian Army opted for the 4x4 Tata Safari Storme, the decision to discontinue Gypsy became unavoidable. However, the Indian Army wanted the Gypsy back and placed an order for 3,051 new units. The army prefers this little, light 4x4, as it is agile, suitable for rough terrain and can negotiate its way through narrow roads. Getting in and out of a Gypsy is also easier for troops, as the vehicle has an open-top profile. It is also easier to identify the occupants in a Gypsy, which is appropriate in high-risk security zones.

A major reason why the Indian Army had decided to replace Gypsy was that it came only with a petrol (gasoline) engine. All other army vehicles use diesel. So, carrying petrol separately for Gypsies only created complexities in supply chain and logistics. However, owing to the distinctive advantages offered by Gypsy, the Indian Army decided to bring it back.

Even though Gypsy production restarted, the vehicle itself has not been updated. Things like BNVSAP regulations and BS-VI won’t apply to army vehicles. However, new units of Gypsy will be manufactured as per the Army’s specifications with a 4×4 transmission. Powering the Maruti Gypsy 4×4 is a 1.3 liter BS4 petrol engine which delivers 80 hp and 103 Nm torque. It is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Mileage claimed is 11 km/l, nearly 10 l/100 km, a rather high consumption for such a light vehicle but Indian trails and military use are demanding.

What was sold as Gypsy in India, is basically the second generation of Suzuki Jimny. Internationally, the same model was discontinued more than a decade ago but was still on sale in India due to demand by the Indian Army. And it is because of the Indian Army, the once dead Maruti Gypsy, has returned back to life. Suzuki Jimny has now entered 4th generation in the international market. There are reports that the new Jimny will be launched in India as well.