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Old 26th May 2021, 00:45   #421
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Default Re: Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene

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Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
Maruti during the late 1980's offered these shades of blue. Neptune Blue outlasted the other blue shades till even after the mid 1990s'.
Dark Neptune Blue was introduced in 1992 to replace the Bayer Blue & my fatherís first car was the 800 in the same shade in Dec. 1993. Thereafter, a metallic shade of Bayer Blue was introduced for the Maruti 800.

Here is the pic of that car (plz ignore the quality as it has been clicked from an old physical photograph)
Later on, we did have Red Radium Bumper strips on it. Those strips were in vogue in those days in Red & White.
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Old 26th May 2021, 12:42   #422
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Mod Note: Blue colour discussed enough. Let's move onto other bits of trivia. Thanks for the support & understanding
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Old 4th June 2021, 16:58   #423
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Originally Posted by vivekgk View Post
Here's a bit of Trivia about the Maruti 1000.

But when the actual production cars were tested, customers and journos alike were crushed to find that the car they had paid for was nothing like the media test drive model. The production M1000 was underpowered, and had none of the thrust they had raved about, and it was a dog with the AC on.

Later, it turned out that the test drive vehicles were fitted with the 1298cc G13B engine, and not the 970cc F10D as touted by Maruti. The G13B would later make an appearance on the Esteem in 1994.

Imagine if such a stunt were pulled by any car manufacturer nowadays. Such was the clout that Maruti Udyog held in the era.
Wow !! An eye opening post for me. My dad owned a M1000, he always used to keep grumbling about the power. On our yearly trip to Ooty, the M1000 performed so poorly, on steep slopes we all passengers had to get down and only my dad and luggage would climb, we would walk and get back into the car at every peak

What was even more annoying for my dad was the M800 we had before that used to climb alright (maybe better power to weight ration + lighter luggage) He used to keep lamenting that he heard reviews about M1000 from his friends and made the wrong choice without even a test drive! He was very happy when we disposed it off and got the Hyundai Accent 8 slow years later.

I wonder what my dad's reaction to this epic story would be, when I tell it to him this evening
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Old 4th June 2021, 19:24   #424
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Originally Posted by vivekgk View Post
Fun Fact: The original Mahindra Armada was designed by none other than Dileep Chhabria of DC Designs. The Armada has its origins in a one-off custom MM540 created by DC. Unfortunately, I have lost the original IAJ issue in which this one-off was featured, but the entire front fascia was exactly the same as the Armada. It even had the distinctive hubcaps that hid the big FFA hubs. Sorry for the poor quality pics, they're all I could find on Google.


The front bumpers were made of poor quality FRP on the original Armada, and were prone to breaking. Even today, it is difficult to find an Armada with the original front bumper, because it invariably broke off from an impact or age, and was replaced with the one from the facelifted model, shown below. The facelift also brought a horde of improvements including AC, laminated windscreen, NGCS, front Disc brakes, Halogen headlamps etc, which were not offered initially, as M&M had no idea whether the Armada would take off or not.

The Mahindra Armada was a success, and Mahindra later evolved it into the Armada Grand, which featured the XD3P 2.5L engine and BA10 5 Speed gearbox, which were 'grand' improvements over the 2.1L XDP 4.9 and the KMT-90. At the time, the Armada offered incredible value, offering 8 seats, luxuries like AC, PS and reliable mechanicals (well...considering the competition) at a reasonable price. The Grand also introduced the full size alloy wheel-lookalike wheelcaps which are offered atandard on the Bolero even today.
I remember the Armada fondly. My Dad bought one in White and I practiced driving in that Armada. It was the first generation without power steering and the plastics were shoddy though it looked very cool to a teenaged me.

Parallel parking and slow speed steering was a PITA, the gearbox was ok but it had no shortage of torque at the time. I drove it on real bad single lane roads in my Dad's constituency and did a lot of off roading in it.

The Armada NG had slightly better ride and handling due to increase in front track and the steering box was moved and placed behind the front bumper which made the steering much lighter at slow speeds and became heavier at highway speeds. The original Armada's steering was heavy at all speeds.

The Aramada Grand was the Mahindra which every politician worth his salt wanted. It looked good in Silver and had some fancy features, I think.

I still love the Mahindra Armada!!

Last edited by Yusha : 4th June 2021 at 19:26.
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Old 4th June 2021, 19:27   #425
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I was checking website of TVS and found that whole Apache RTR series (160, 160 4V, 180, 200) comes with blue colour option.
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Old 5th June 2021, 09:41   #426
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Originally Posted by aravind.anand View Post
On our yearly trip to Ooty, the M1000 performed so poorly, on steep slopes we all passengers had to get down and only my dad and luggage would climb, we would walk and get back into the car at every peak

What was even more annoying for my dad was the M800 we had before that used to climb alright
The Maruti 1000, Zen & Esteem all had very poor low-end torque. Maruti 800s with their torquey bottom end & better gearing (Zen & Esteem gearing was too tall) used to leave my Red Zen for dead in mid-range acceleration. And I remember climbing up the steep slopes of Mahabaleshwar hotels was damn tricky in the Esteem.
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Old 5th June 2021, 11:09   #427
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The Maruti 1000, Zen & Esteem all had very poor low-end torque. Maruti 800s with their torquey bottom end & better gearing (Zen & Esteem gearing was too tall) used to leave my Red Zen for dead in mid-range acceleration. And I remember climbing up the steep slopes of Mahabaleshwar hotels was damn tricky in the Esteem.
This is news to me, I remember traveling up to Coonoor from Coimbatore in my uncle's Esteem. The journey was time travel for me, the car could overtake going uphill! Compared to our Ambassador, the journey was so comfortable. The 90s was the decade that got us out of the Ambassador - Padmini binary, finally getting us cars that needed only fuel and regular maintenance.

Maruti facelifted the Esteem giving it the 85 bhp engine, putting a big S for Suzuki on the grill as customers felt that was more prestigious.
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Old 5th June 2021, 14:34   #428
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Originally Posted by vivekgk View Post
When it was launched in 1990, the journos who test drove it were raving about the smoothness of the engine and the incredible power and acceleration compared to anything else on Indian roads at the time.

Later, it turned out that the test drive vehicles were fitted with the 1298cc G13B engine, and not the 970cc F10D as touted by Maruti. The G13B would later make an appearance on the Esteem in 1994.
Recently I came across a test drive report of Maruti 1000, published by Indian Auto circa November 1989 (written by Hormazd Sorabjee). The report was shared by DBhpian anjan_c2007. The report also did have a closeup photo of the engine bay. I compared that photo with the engine bay photo of a 95 Esteem (shared by bhpian sohanbala).

I can confidently say that both the engines are different, the engine that were in test drive cars (given to journos) were indeed the 970cc F10A engine. The story of G13B equipped M1000s given to auto journos seems like a case of an urban legend.

The engines are visibly different, the biggest difference is the positioning of the distributor.

Engine bay of bhpian the mole's 92 M1000:

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-m1000-1992.jpg

Engine bay of the car that Auto India drove in 1989:

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-m1000-1989.jpg

Engine bay of bhpian sohanbala's 1995 Esteem:

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-95-esteem.jpg


P.S- The positioning of distributor seems to be like that among other F & G series engines as well:

M800 F8B carb engine bay:

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-1999-m800.jpg


Zen G10B carb engine bay:

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-old-zen-engine.jpg

Last edited by chiranjitp : 5th June 2021 at 14:45.
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Old 5th June 2021, 15:27   #429
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiranjitp View Post
Recently I came across a test drive report of Maruti 1000, published by Indian Auto circa November 1989 (written by Hormazd Sorabjee). The report was shared by DBhpian anjan_c2007. The report also did have a closeup photo of the engine bay. I compared that photo with the engine bay photo of a 95 Esteem (shared by bhpian sohanbala).

I can confidently say that both the engines are different, the engine that were in test drive cars (given to journos) were indeed the 970cc F10A engine. The story of G13B equipped M1000s given to auto journos seems like a case of an urban legend.
I have seen these pictures in the original magazine. However, a later issue of either Indian Auto or another magazine, did mention the performance disparity between the initial test drive vehicles given to the press, and the production vehicles that were given for the full Test drive report. This was even documented but it was passed off later as an inadvertent mistake. Perhaps, someone has the relevant issues of the magazine, I'm pretty sure it was by IAJ.

Still, could you provide more info regarding the performance of the Maruti 1000 as mentioned in the article? As already mentioned by aravind.anand, and from personal experience of having driven a friend's car, the performance is very poor. It's possible that the engine bay pictures were from a media kit or something that was offered by MUL.

The Cultus sedan was launched in Japan in 1988 with a 1.0L 3 cylinder G10 and a 1.3L 4 Cylinder G13A, and the F10A which was considered outdated was only offered in a few markets, India included. MUL had been showcasing the Maruti 1000 since early 1989, and eventually launched it in October 1990.
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Old 5th June 2021, 16:33   #430
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Originally Posted by vivekgk View Post
Still, could you provide more info regarding the performance of the Maruti 1000 as mentioned in the article?
I am attaching the whole article here (with due credit to DBhpian anjan_c2007). As for performance mentioned in the article, Indian Auto quotes a 0-100 timing of 16.8 seconds for the Maruti 1000. The Esteem carb does the 0-100 in 13.9 seconds (ACI figure). Even the maximum speed for the 1st, 2nd gear is quoted at 45, 90 kmph respectively. The G13B easily goes higher than that, the Esteem is famous for crossing the 100kmph mark in 2nd gear. Considering all the facts, I think what the auto journos drove was indeed a M1000 powered by the 970cc F10A engine.

Another thing to consider is any journo doing a car review would take a peek under the bonnet. The F10A engine was already used in the Gypsy (hence car journos must have been familiar with how that engine looked) & a car journo would have noticed if a different looking engine was there in the engine bay.

Esteem carb & Esteem MPFi performance figures courtesy ACI:

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-0002.jpg


Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekgk View Post
As already mentioned by aravind.anand, and from personal experience of having driven a friend's car, the performance is very poor.
Performance is a relative term, for someone even an Esteem MPi with 85hp might be under-powered. I believe among all the cars on sale at that time, M1000 was indeed the fastest car. The Indian Auto article also claims the 0-100 timing of 16.8 seconds (for M1000) was the fastest timing among the cars sold then.


Quote:
It's possible that the engine bay pictures were from a media kit or something that was offered by MUL.
I genuinely doubt that, please have a look at all the photos of the article & decide for yourself.

The Indian Auto test drive report of the M1000, photos credits to DBhpian anjan_c2007:

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-1.jpg

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-2.jpg

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-3.jpg

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-4.jpg

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-5.jpg

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-6.jpg

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-7.jpg

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-8.jpg

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-9.jpg

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-10.jpg

Last edited by chiranjitp : 5th June 2021 at 16:54.
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Old 7th June 2021, 01:52   #431
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Originally Posted by chiranjitp View Post
I am attaching the whole article here (with due credit to DBhpian anjan_c2007). As for performance mentioned in the article, Indian Auto quotes a 0-100 timing of 16.8 seconds for the Maruti 1000. The Esteem carb does the 0-100 in 13.9 seconds (ACI figure). Even the maximum speed for the 1st, 2nd gear is quoted at 45, 90 kmph respectively. The G13B easily goes higher than that, the Esteem is famous for crossing the 100kmph mark in 2nd gear. Considering all the facts, I think what the auto journos drove was indeed a M1000 powered by the 970cc F10A engine.
Thanks for posting the detailed reports and bringing clarity to the discussion.

I was also trying to track down these magazines and reports. In fact I'm still looking for that report that had mentioned the engine swap theory.

I've gone through the reports, and noted the following points:
  • It is mentioned clearly that they were testing a secret prototype that had come to India the month before.
  • The F10A in the 1000 makes slightly more power and slightly less torque than the Gypsy version.
  • He notes that on paper, these figures do not seem impressive and that the power to weight ratio is lower than even the M800.
  • IT was the quickest car they had ever tested, even beating the 88bhp Contessa Classic with a better power to weight ratio!
  • Acceleration and performance is termed as 'invigorating', 'rapid' and 'terrific', due to the ideal gearing.
  • They note that even Farad Bhatena would be happy with driving flat out in it.
  • He notes that the performance of the car is more than adequate, and that there is no need for the 1324cc engine, as things stand.

I'd like to add the following points to this.
  • The F10A was produced in several variants, ranging from 39 BHP to 59 BHP, for various applications. Particularly, the Japanese variant of the Samurai SJ410 produced 52 BHP@5000rpm, Indian Rally tuners have extracted far more out of it in the MG410 Gypsy, before the MG413 Gypsy King came out in 1996.

    Here's a pic from 1989. Farad Bhatena is at the wheel of this one. I dunno how much power it makes but it sure as heck isn't 45!!

    Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-1920pxfarad_bathena_and_raj_bagri_in_mrf_maruti_gypsy_in_1989_south_india_rally.jpg
  • If you look at the article, you will notice that IAJ has nothing but praise for MUL, and whitewashes the Indian Goverment's decision to keep other manufacturers' applications pending and reject them, while fast tracking MUL's application for the 1000. They are also clearly very excited to have been included in this secretive, scoop road test of the most modern car till date to have ever hit Indian roads. I think they were completely starstruck, and didn't ask too many questions. It was the same journos who later said that the production car was not as powerful and they had been hoodwinked by MUL.
  • The car in the pictures is very obviously a media car, with a 'MARUTI 1000' number plate. Several of the pictures are also very obvious media kit photos, like the interior seats pic and the luggage pic. The steering wheel also does not have a badge, likely because the Suzuki badge had just been peeled off before handing taking the pic.
  • Again, we don't know how much freedom the press was allowed to have with the car, but since this is an early prototype, I'm guessing a photo session and some time on the test track or a pre determined route, which is the norm for such sneak preview drives even now.
  • Another curious detail is that even though this review was compiled in September 1989, it wasn't until a full year later that the 1000 was officially launched, which is baffling since the prototype they had previewed and driven is fully functional.

Quote:
Esteem carb & Esteem MPFi performance figures courtesy ACI:
The Esteem in India was launched in 1994 with the revised and modern 1298cc G13BA, which produced 65 bhp. The Cultus in 1988 was launched with the 1324cc G13A, which was not as powerful, at about 58-59 bhp for the carb variant. This is the engine that IAJ says isn't needed as the 970cc engine is more than adequate.

Here's a pic of the MG413W Gypsy King with the G13BA carb engine. Please note the position and location of the distributor in this longitudinal application. It is not necessarily a G-Series engine characteristic. It doesn't look too different from the F10A, does it? The top pic is from one of our threads, where in 2015, a member asked help on confirming the engine as a 1.0 or a 1.3. One of our eagle eyed experts easily identified it as a 1.3L carb engine, as it had been around for 20 years. But this engine only came to India in 1994 with the Esteem, and the IAJ team had already been told that the cyl. head had been reworked for more power.

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-img20150920wa0012.jpg

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Here's a pic of a G13A engine from an older SJ413, which was launched in 1984.

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-screenshot-20210606-230258.png

Quote:
Performance is a relative term, for someone even an Esteem MPi with 85hp might be under-powered. I believe among all the cars on sale at that time, M1000 was indeed the fastest car. The Indian Auto article also claims the 0-100 timing of 16.8 seconds (for M1000) was the fastest timing among the cars sold then.
I agree that performance is a relative term, which is why several fellow tbhpians have found the 1000 lacking even when compared to the M800, in certain scenarios. The Maruti 1000 was a nice car, with a good feature list for the time, it was put together like a Maruti, and it was the most modern car in India at the time, even with the F10A. But, the lack of power had been a constant complaint issue from Day 1.

According to this road test, the figures are better than even the Contessa, even with a 16bhp/ton deficit in the power to weight ratio. (77.1 for the Conti vs 61.33 for the M1000) Yet, the Contessa 1.8 with its 1.8L, 88bhp Isuzu 4ZB1 mill was never called underpowered. True, the handling was boatlike, and FE was bad, but power was not a problem. Even a non-car person can tell when a car is or isn't powerful.

Also consider that the Original 1993 Zen was accepted to be a nippy car for its time. At launch, it had a 50bhp G10B and weighed 730kg, giving it a power to weight ratio of 68.5 bhp/ton, still a lot better than the M1000.

The Esteem MPi was the quickest car in India for several years. I drove one last month, a 2005 VXi model that had covered about 1.3 lacs kms, and it is still fast. The only slow Esteem I've seen is the AX with the slow 3 speed auto. To understand how good the Esteem MPi still is, consider that the 0-60 time was 5.01 seconds, and the 5th gen Honda City takes 5.34 seconds.

So, when you read all of it together, it is clear that there was something not quite right about this road test report. Either the press was lying through their teeth and blatantly lying about the car's performance in the report, (which is possible, due to their dependance on advertising income and favours from car makers for scoops like this), or they were not given the production spec car. It could be an early Cultus with a G13A, or it could have been that the F10A in the prototype was in a different state of tune, like the 52 bhp JDM spec, for example, or even a better tuned model with performance parts. To put things in perspective, the JDM spec F10A would have improved the Power to weight ratio significantly, to 69.3 bhp/ton, which is better than the '93 Zen.

So, my take on this is that it wasn't just an 'Urban Legend'. There were countless genuinely disappointed customers who had bought the M1000 and felt cheated by its lackluster performance. One of my earliest experiences with a Maruti 1000 was riding in the back seat in my Dad's boss's car, and listening to them discuss about the lack of performance. My Dad was looking to buy a car at the time.

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Old 10th June 2021, 09:49   #432
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I just wanted to add something here : )

My friend during my early 20s long long ago told me that when their family got their Maruti 1000 it came with the Esteem engine due to error from factory.

I am long since out of touch with him and till this day I wonder if he was making it up or such a human error was legit possible in those days and this actually happened... perhaps someone more knowledgable here can confirm if there were any more known cases of something like this happenening or his claim is questionable : P
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Old 10th June 2021, 12:04   #433
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I just wanted to add something here : )

My friend during my early 20s long long ago told me that when their family got their Maruti 1000 it came with the Esteem engine due to error from factory.

I am long since out of touch with him and till this day I wonder if he was making it up or such a human error was legit possible in those days and this actually happened... perhaps someone more knowledgable here can confirm if there were any more known cases of something like this happenening or his claim is questionable : P
To me, it looks like he was making it up. We still have our M1000 in the family and currently, I am working on it on daily basis, slowly & steadily, thanks to the lockdown and WFH. The biggest difference between M1000 and carb esteems is the engine bay/powertrain. They are quite different, be it engine, gearbox, flywheel, clutch set, carburettor, etc. Well, recently fitted replaced the carb with a Zen carb, it fits but has some extra vacuum lines which I have blocked. Gearbox bell-housing is different to that of an Esteem/Zen.

Getting so many Esteem parts fitted together in an M1000 by mistake/human error is quite tough to digest. I wish it would have happened to us .
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Old 10th June 2021, 12:22   #434
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Originally Posted by chiranjitp View Post
The engines are visibly different, the biggest difference is the positioning of the distributor.
My father and his friends were used car dealers back in the 90s and 2000s and I as a kid was always fascinated by the Esteem and we had quite a few in our garage up for sale. Back in those days there were a lot of people who would try to sell of their M1000 guised as an Esteem by putting external stickers and monograms. So I asked dad how did they used to distinguish them, and the first thing he said was that they would open the bonnet and check the position of the distributor, M1000 has the distributor sitting high up whereas it sits lower in the Esteem.

Thanks for reminding
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Old 10th June 2021, 14:05   #435
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My 2 cents. I drove my grandpa's Maruti 1000 in Chennai in early 1994. I distinctly remember that satisfaction of slotting into 5th gear for the first time in my life. Loved the futuristic layered dashboard and vents on doors.

That said, I hated it within 10 min of the drive - even the Chennai auto-rickshaws were faster in the typical city hustle. Our humble 800 and the Sipani Dolphin felt much more perkier. The 5th overdrive gear, if slotted in at 50kmph would take forever to go to 60 kmph.

Owned the Zen and the G13B Swift later, miles ahead in engine performance/rev friendliness.
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