Maruti Suzuki Jimny won't get entry-level 2WD variant

    Suzuki doesn’t want to veer away from the Jimny’s off-road DNA, thereby ruling out a two-wheel drive variant.

    Published On May 24, 2023 12:40:00 PM

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    Maruti Suzuki Jimny
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    The long-awaited Maruti Suzuki Jimny will go on sale in India on June 7. The model will be launched with a 1.5-litre K15B petrol engine, offered with a 5-speed manual and 4-speed auto gearbox options. Suzuki’s AllGrip Pro four-wheel drive system is standard fit across the range. Interestingly, there are no plans for a lower priced two-wheel-drive version in the future.

    Sources say a two-wheel-drive version was not on the table as Suzuki wanted the Jimny to be true to its off-road legacy. The original Jimny was launched in Japan in 1970 and the nameplate has since become synonymous with off-road ability. Even the Gypsy that was launched in India in the '80s never got a 4x2 system throughout its lifecycle, which ended in 2019.

    Also see: Suzuki Jimny 5 door will not be sold in Europe

    The current-gen Jimny, sold overseas in 3-door form, has also made a name for itself in off-road circles worldwide. In fact, lengthening the Jimny to 5-door form for India was an exercise in “optimisation”, as Maruti Suzuki’s CTO CV Raman put it. “We could have gone longer also, but we had to ensure the off-road capability is not compromised," Raman told Autocar India at the Jimny 5-door’s global unveiling earlier this year. "The 4x4 character of the Jimny could not be lost.” The India-spec Jimny 5-door’s 2,550mm wheelbase is a full 300mm longer than the international spec 3-door model.

    Mahindra Thar 2WD variant helped sales

    Launching a lower priced, two-wheel-drive version is a strategy that has worked wonders for Mahindra. The Thar 4x2 petrol-automatic (Rs 13.49 lakh) is Rs 2.3 lakh more affordable than its 4x4 equivalent, while the Thar diesel-manual 4x2 range starts at an enticing Rs 10.55 lakh. This pricing has been made possible by the move to a smaller engine, which helps it qualify for the ‘small car’ tax benefits.

    Also see: 50 years of the Suzuki Jimny

    The lower price tags have opened up the Thar to a whole new set of buyers lured by the off-roader’s image, but without use for its actual off-road ability. That there’s a 17-month waiting period on the Thar diesel-manual 4x2 should tell you about the scale of its popularity. Incidentally, Mahindra delivered its 1,00,000th Thar last week. 

    It’ll be interesting to see how the Jimny is priced vis-a-vis other Maruti SUVs as well as off road rivals like the Mahindra Thar and Force Gurkha.

    Also see:

    Suzuki Jimny review: Turns more heads than a supercar

    2022 Suzuki Jimny in India: First Impression video

    Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.

    Comments

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    Krishna MV - 362 days ago

    This vehicle has terribly cheap interiors for an iconic product - what was seen during Auto expo Hope they have spruced it up for the launch

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