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Suzuki Oz eyes Gypsy

Gypsy King: Maruti Suzuki's top-selling small 4x4 is the Indian army's favourite vehicle.

Maruti Suzuki’s utilitarian Gypsy 4x4 could become available Down Under

3 Jan 2011

SUZUKI Australia is considering a plan to import the utilitarian Gypsy compact off-roader built in India by Maruti Suzuki.

If sold here, the back-to-basics Gypsy 4x4 would be suitable only for use on private property because it does not meet the latest safety and emissions standards in Australia.

However, as a rival for side-by-side heavy-duty ATVs from Polaris and John Deere, the Sierra-based Gypsy would cost considerably less than Suzuki’s more advanced Jimny, which is currently priced at $20,490 but is no longer available for purchase in Victoria because it is not fitted with electronic stability control.

Suzuki Australia believes a similar plan by Suzuki New Zealand would increase the chances of Gypsy imports to Australia from Maruti Suzuki, which produces Australia’s first Indian-sourced passenger vehicle, the Suzuki Alto.

“I’m sure there is a small but worthwhile market for the Gypsy in Australia,” Suzuki Australia managing director Tak Hayasaki told GoAuto. “It would be ideal for farmers and other off-road users.” The Gypsy is a staple vehicle in India, where it is badged not as a Suzuki but a Maruti and is widely employed by the police and military. Available in three-door soft-top and hard-top body styles, the Jimny predecessor dates back to 1985.

Known as the Gypsy King, Maruti’s latest compact SUV is codenamed MG413W and in March 2000 became available with a Jimny-style horizontal-slat grille, front head restraints, fabric seat trim, brake booster and a 60kW/103Nm 1.3-litre 16-valve MPFI G13BB petrol engine.

Available with four-bucket seats or a rear bench seat in India, the Gypsy measures 4010mm long, 1540mm wide, 1875mm high and rides on a 2375mm wheelbase.

Priced at about $A12,000 in India, it has a kerb weight of just 985kg, a 600kg payload, front and rear leaf springs, drum rear brakes, 15-inch steel wheels, a five-speed manual transmission and a two-speed transfer case.

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