In recent news, Maruti Suzuki discontinued the Gypsy due to the car’s inability to conform to the stringent upcoming crash tests and emission standards. The Gypsy is still one of the most coveted SUV’s among off-road enthusiasts and 4×4 fanboys. The Armed Forces and Police used the SUV because of its capabilities, both on and off road. The Indian Army was the largest purchaser of the Gypsy, but after the Indian Army switched to the Tata Safari Storme, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. made the decision to finally put an end to the ageing model and the sales were officially stopped from 1st April 2019.
The Gypsy though was bound to make a revival and according to a press report, the Indian Army has decided to procure the SUV again. The Armed Forces have received a special waiver from the Ministry of Defence, on safety and emission norms, and the Army has placed an order of 3,051 new Gypsy’s to be inducted into the Forces. The Army favours the Gypsy because of its compact lightweight design and its ability to navigate through narrow roads, rough terrain and ease of maintenance in highly volatile situations. Also, the soft top can be completely removed making it easier for the troops to mount and dismount the vehicle and allows recoil-less guns to be mounted on the SUV which is a crucial aspect in high-risk zones.
The Indian Army tested the Tata manufactured Safari Storme and the Mahindra manufactured Scorpio SUVs for almost five years, both the SUV’s met the Armed Forces requirements, but the Army finally settled down for the Safari Storme after Tata made the lowest bid, and finally, the Gypsy was replaced. One of the reasons for the Gypsy’s replacement was that the SUV came only in a petrol powered engine which required complex logistics, as all other Army vehicles use diesel fuel.
The Safari Storme is powered by a diesel engine and has proved its mettle in the tough terrain where our Indian Army works and an order of 3,192 units was placed with Tata Motors, out of which 90% have been delivered. The Gypsy is powered by a BSIV standard – G13BB, 1.3-litre, 4-cylinder, 16-valve petrol engine which produces 81.5 PS of power and 103 Nm of torque coupled to a 5-speed gearbox with a manual 2-speed transfer case and 4×4 drive train.