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Could Maruti Jimny Trace Gypsy’s Footsteps And Serve The Indian Army?

Serving the army means a lot of boxes need ticking. Can Maruti’s latest Gypsy, called the Jimny, pull it off?

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The Maruti Gypsy has been a prominent and esteemed vehicle for the Indian armed forces for as long as we can remember. And it’s for a good reason. The car was light, reliable, pocket friendly, easy to repair and its off-roading prowess was second to none for something priced similarly. The legend of the Gypsy is such that even to this date, it is widely known as the mountain goat, known for scaling everything you throw at it without dropping a sweat.

Although it has been a while since the Gypsy got discontinued in the country, there’s a new one on the block in the form of the Maruti Jimny. Sure, the monikers don’t match, but given that the second generation Jimny’s long-wheelbase iteration was called Gypsy in our country, there’s no doubt that the two come from the same roots. So on the occasion of India’s 74th Republic Day, we spark an important question- Can the Jimny follow the footsteps of the venerable Gypsy and become the next vehicle for our armed forces?

The Army is fond of 4x4!

It shouldn't come as a shock that the army prefers a four-wheel drive vehicle. The extra set of driven wheels provides much more grip and the scope of possibilities offered in extreme conditions is unparalleled. The Tata Safari Storme GS800, which replaced the Gypsy in the army’s fleet, was a full-fledged 4x4 vehicle. 

Just like the Tata, the Gypsy too used to get a standard 4x4 system, and so does the Jimny. Even the Mahindra Scorpio used by our local police personnels boasts a 4x4 system. The trend clearly shows a bias towards four wheel driven vehicles. To top it all off, the Jimny also gets a low-range transfer case so getting it stuck and staying stuck would take a great deal of effort.

Must-have offroading prowess

Given the scope of difficulties and extreme locations that the army has to face and reach, a vehicle with off-roading capabilities is a must. That makes the Jimny almost perfect for our troops. Apart from the standard 4x4, it gets a brake-limited slip differential system, which applies brakes to the slipping wheels and distributes torque to wheels with available traction so that you march on unhindered. The ground clearance of 210mm will make sure our ‘jawaans’ don’t have to worry about scraping the car on a heavily graded terrain.

The perfect size

The Jimny isn’t a huge SUV. In fact, it's a tad bit smaller than the Gypsy as it just comes under the sub-4m category. So maneuvering it in tight spaces shouldn't be much of a problem, but that being said, its wide proportions and tall stance make sure it isn’t petite in any sense. 

Scope of modifications

The breadth of possibilities for modifications in the Gypsy was enormous. So much so that it was used for ferrying around commanders in urban areas, while at the same time, a host of modified iterations served various purposes, from defending at the frontline to carrying supplies from one post to another. 

We reckon the Jimny too, could be modified to a large extent. Just like the Gypsy’s soft top variant, the Jimny’s fixed metal roof could be chucked and the rear seats can probably be replaced by two vertically placed parallel bench seats. It would square its practicality quotient as from the offset, the bench will be able to accommodate a lot more people.

A host of Gypsys, majority of them being officer vehicles, were fitted with an aftermarket rear door for ease of access but that is something that the Jimny gets from the factory itself. So it is practical enough and yet has the latitude for further mods. We for one can’t wait to see what people with a tasteful appetite do when they get their hands on the Jimny. 

Pure petrol power

The Maruti Gypsy didn’t get the most powerful petrol engine at the time and neither does the Jimny. But power figures for the latter have gone up in comparison, thanks to the 1.5-litre K15 petrol engine producing 105PS and 134Nm. And given that the maximum kerb weight for the Jimny is just 1210kg, it won’t feel underpowered in majority of the cases. No eye popping numbers but the power figures are more than decent for anything that the radical conditions might throw at it.


Last but not the least, the cost is one of the chief factors that goes into ordering a fleet. And given the sheer size of our forces, the orders are usually mammoth-sized, so understandably cost plays an important role and crosses out any possibilities of a Mercedes G-Wagon. For the package that the Gypsy offered at its price point, it was a no-brainer choice at the time. 

While the prices for the Jimny haven’t been revealed yet, it’s expected to start from around Rs 10 lakh (ex-showroom), which should be a decent price point for something as capable. 

Bonus: Decent list of features

The Gypsy’s cabin offered the bare minimum when it came to creature comforts. But the Jimny addresses those issues with a host of features. Even in its base-spec trim, it packs more than just the essentials with a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, manual AC, keyless entry, steering-mounted audio controls, and a multi-info display. And given the extremities our army personnel must go through, we reckon these features will be highly appreciated. 

Also Read: The Tata Sierra Will Have A Four-seater Option With Class-leading Rear Legroom

All these similar characteristics should make the Jimny the perfect companion for our forces. It’s got everything going for it. All it needs is a few tweaks here and there, and the Jimny will become the quintessential SUV for the army. We hope you’re listening, Maruti.

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