Maruti Suzuki India, which had phased out its iconic Gypsy model last year, has been in the works to introduce its Jimny Sierra version for the Indian market. The company has started assembling a three-door Jimny version for its exports markets and is also readying a five-door Jimny off-roader version to suit the sub-continent’s terrain requirements.
Maruti Suzuki, which had featured the three-door Jimny off-roader at the 2020 Auto Expo in February, was recently seen testing its three-door export model on the roads. The vehicle’s tailgate sported the Jimny Sierra badge, indicating it’s for the Japanese export market. The three door SUV could be a test prototype for the export model and could be helpful in testing components for the five-door India specific model.
For its Japanese customers, Suzuki offers the Jimny in two configurations – the Kei with a 660cc turbo-petrol engine and the slightly large Sierra model which sports additional cladding. Even though the Jimny Sierra is available in Europe, it is marketed as the Jimny which sports a larger 1.5-litre petrol engine.
The carmaker aims to release the new five-door Jimny in India by 2021. The Jimny Sierra derivative for India will feature a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated engine – the K15B unit which is also used in the Ertiga, Brezza Ciaz and Vitara models. They also get a low range four-wheel drive; however, they are unlikely to offer Suzuki’s Smart Hybrid Vehicle (SHVS) mild-hybrid system for the Jimny. Given its engine capacity of 1200cc and length which is expected to be under four metres, the India specific Jimny version will not qualify for the sops offered to other small car’s in the segment.
The Jimny will help Maruti Suzuki to fill the void of its iconic Gypsy model which has been discontinued and is not commercially available. The carmaker plans to compete with the recently released Mahindra Thar and the upcoming new Force Gurkha.