Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) is gearing up to bring its parent Suzuki Motor Corp’s much-awaited model – the Jimni SUV – to the Indian market. The Jimni was first unveiled at the 2020 Auto Expo and has since seen a huge response from buyers for its SUV credentials in a compact footprint.
From January 2021MSIL has been building the Suzuki version of this global three-door SUV and exporting it to both left and right-hand drive markets such as those in Africa and the Middle East from its home plant in Gurgaon, Haryana.
However, sources revealed that Autocar Professional that the company stopped production of the three-door Jimny at this plant earlier in October.
The assembly line inside MSIL’s Gurgaon plant that was earlier dedicated to the older Gipsy model and used to produce the three-door Jimny, is now ready to produce the India-specific five-door Jimni SUV (codename: IVD). the first quarter of FY 2024, probably from April next year.
The Jimny remains a body-on-frame SUV like its Gipsy predecessor, which is why it will be built on an independent assembly line at the same plant that also makes the XL6, Ertiga and Eeco – all of which are monocoque vehicles in contrast.
Autocar Professional learned that MSIL aims to produce around 5,000-6,000 units every month of the five-door Jimny which could also be rebranded as Gypsy for the domestic market and hence could see a revival of the iconic brand after it was discontinued in 2018 considering stricter emission, accident and safety norms in the country.
Made for India Jimni technical specifications
The Jimny will be powered by Suzuki’s 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. Interestingly, the IVD will feature the longitudinally mounted MSIL K15B engine that also powers the export-oriented three-door Jimny and produces 102 PS and 130 Nm in these variants. This engine, however, is different from the automaker’s K15C mill which is standardized to run in MSIL’s four UV models – Ertiga, Brezza, KSL6 and Grand Vitara. However, its Ciaz sedan still relies on the K15B unit.
The K15C is an upgraded form of the 1.5-litre K-series engine and comes equipped with Suzuki’s DualJet technology that offers better fuel economy and lower emissions. The five-door Jimny will stay under four meters in length and is likely to offer 210mm of ground clearance like its three-door export version.
Back to the roots
In terms of powertrain options, the five-door Jimny will get 5MT options and will see the traditional 4-speed automatic transmission return to the MSIL UV portfolio.
While this aging transmission has been replaced by an all-new 6-speed AT unit in the new Brezza, XL6 facelift, Ertiga as well as the new Grand Vitara, it continues to work in the Ciaz sedan. MSIL is likely to offer the low-ratio Suzuki All-Grip Pro AVD option with the manual and automatic transmission variants of the Jimny.
Exhibition at Auto Expo 2023
The Jimni will strengthen Maruti Suzuki’s onslaught in the SUV category – a body type that has witnessed a surge in demand due to customer preferences and now contributes over 50 per cent of new car sales in the country. The five-door Jimny is likely to be unveiled at the upcoming Auto Expo 2023 in January.
MSIL’s upcoming SUV will be positioned as a family lifestyle vehicle to compete with the likes of Mahindra Thar and Force Gurkha, and will empower India’s largest carmaker to increase its overall share in the country by introducing more SUVs – a segment where it wants to increase its market share. share, which amounted to 16.87% in the period April-October 2022 current financial year.
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