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Old 10th June 2021, 15:34   #436
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Default Re: Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene

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Originally Posted by puneetakhouri View Post
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
We got our 1994 M1000 from a Delhi dealer in 1997. It had a Maruti Suzuki badge on the left and an Esteem badge on right. We did not care about the badges as we knew that it is a 1000 by looking into the RC. It had an Esteem center console to keep the audio cassettes and an in-built glass holder too. The rear had white indicator lens rear tail lamps of type-2 esteem.

Till last decade we all in the family used to call it an Esteem but my dad would always call it a 1000. I used to think that Esteem came in 2 engines capacities and we had the smaller one, otherwise, it is an Esteem . Later, my father briefed me about certain differences between the two cars, now I call it a 1000. Once repainted, I am not going to put Esteem badge. The Center console is already removed .
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Old 10th June 2021, 23:21   #437
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Default Re: Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene

Sorry if I wasn't clear in my previous posts, I never wanted to discuss which engine in which car was faster. I only wanted to prove that the M1000 Auto journos drove in 1989 had a F10A engine only, not a G13B engine.

The photos of the engine bay of the test car, of bhpian the mole's 92 M1000 & of bhpian sohanbala's 1995 Esteem make this point clear.

I only talked about the performance figures because of the fact that whatever they drove in 1989 was way off the mark of Esteem's (G13B carb) figures. They were impressed with the performance of the M1000 going by the report, even then the numbers posted by that car were way off the mark that would be set by the Esteem (G13B carb) in 1994.

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Originally Posted by vivekgk View Post
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.
Yes, from the report it is clear that the M1000 that they drove was Japanese (CKD most likely). It could be possible that car was running on a more aggressive/different tune compared to what we ended up getting. This theory could be true.

Even for M800, people always found the cars equipped with Japanese Mikuni carburetor performed slightly better compared to the cars equipped with made in India carburetor.

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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.
Since you have brought up the topic of Zen, let me give my point about how a Zen drove. I have owned 2 of these, first a 98 Zen carb, then later a 01 Zen MPFi.

The Zen carb was tested by ACI to do the 0-100 dash in 16.30 seconds, which is a good enough time. Though in reality the Zen carb had horrible low end torque, in city traffic one would need to constantly downshift to keep the engine on the boil. Move up the rev range, the Zen moves briskly, the power deficient w.r.t Zen MPI isn't noticeable high up the revv range (Zen mpi has 10bhp more, 60bhp vs 50 bhp). The top end is also good, the G10B carb likes to be revved, an enthusiasts motor indeed. After getting past the weak low end, Zen carb feels fast enough & can easily keep up with many modern cars.

The driving characteristics of Zen carb was quite opposite to most other cars from that era, downshifting 1/2 gears to accelerate quickly was an alien concept to most drivers. I learnt driving in a M800 & a Omni, in those cars one would one want to move up the gears as quickly as possible (without lugging the engine). There was no concept of dropping down a gear or two to make a quick overtake. Those engines simply didn't have any top end performance to talk about.

The Zen MPFi on the other hand had good low end torque (though not as much as say a F10D), one didn't need to constantly downshift to keep the car moving in flowing traffic. Even that engine loved to be revved, with the motor pulling cleaning in the high rev range. The Zen MPFi did 0-100kmph in 14.68 as per ACI. I replaced my Zen MPFi with a Swift G13B.

Zen timing figures courtesy ACI:

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

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Originally Posted by PSM_360 View Post
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.
Even the fueling system was different/advanced in the Zen/Esteem. These cars even in carburetor avatar got an electronic fuel pump (which was placed in the fuel tank), whereas the likes of M800, Omni, M1000 got a mechanical fuel pump (which was placed near the carburetor). I am not entirely sure about the technical differences, but the biggest difference to the end user was that a Zen, Esteem carb would start in one crank (cold start). My Omni on the other hand, especially if left idle for 15-20 days would need 3-4 cranks before the engine would fire up. The fuel line would dry up partially & since there is no actual pump to pump fuel from the tank, it would take some time to fire up.

Even the ignition system was different & more advanced in the G series engine. The distributor on the F series engines would need periodic replacement of the distributor breaker point, as per my 99 Omni's user manual they need replacement every 20k km. Fiddling with the distributor means doing the Ignition timing once again.

In short, the G series engines were more advanced compared to the F series engines in carburetor guise, & generally needed less maintenance.

Last edited by chiranjitp : 10th June 2021 at 23:49.
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Old 11th June 2021, 07:43   #438
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Back when Maruti Esteem was a revolutionary luxury car with 65 bhp. I was probably too young at this time, but I'm sure many BHPians can relate to this:

Note: There's probably no problem with your computer/internet connection. A few parts of the video have a black screen with no audio.
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Old 11th June 2021, 08:34   #439
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Default Re: Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene

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Originally Posted by chiranjitp View Post
Sorry if I wasn't clear in my previous posts, I never wanted to discuss which engine in which car was faster. I only wanted to prove that the M1000 Auto journos drove in 1989 had a F10A engine only, not a G13B engine.

The photos of the engine bay of the test car, of bhpian the mole's 92 M1000 & of bhpian sohanbala's 1995 Esteem make this point clear.


Of course, the engine in the pictures in the article is quite definitely the F10A. Which is why the performance disparity with the production variants came as such a shock, even to the press.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiranjitp View Post
I only talked about the performance figures because of the fact that whatever they drove in 1989 was way off the mark of Esteem's (G13B carb) figures. They were impressed with the performance of the M1000 going by the report, even then the numbers posted by that car were way off the mark that would be set by the Esteem (G13B carb) in 1994.
By the time the Esteem was launched, the G13A/BA equipped Esteem/Cultus had been under production in the Global market for 5 years, which is almost a full lifecycle, and I'm sure that numerous production improvements were made by then, over the G13A, over and above the 6 bhp power increase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiranjitp View Post
Yes, from the report it is clear that the M1000 that they drove was Japanese (CKD most likely). It could be possible that car was running on a more aggressive/different tune compared to what we ended up getting. This theory could be true.
Another noteworthy thing is the complete lack of any badging in the media car, for variant or for brand.

Also remember that the imported Isuzu motor in the Contessa used to be capable of 88 bhp, which dropped to 75bhp when they started making it in India under HM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiranjitp View Post
The driving characteristics of Zen carb was quite opposite to most other cars from that era, downshifting 1/2 gears to accelerate quickly was an alien concept to most drivers. I learnt driving in a M800 & a Omni, in those cars one would one want to move up the gears as quickly as possible (without lugging the engine). There was no concept of dropping down a gear or two to make a quick overtake. Those engines simply didn't have any top end performance to talk about.

...

In short, the G series engines were more advanced compared to the F series engines in carburetor guise, & generally needed less maintenance.
F8D made just about 38 bhp initially, but it was powerful enough as the cars were so light. We had a '98 800 STD, which I learnt to drive on. Compared to our '85 Padmini it replaced, the 800 was silent, refined, and reliable, but too light. I was taught early on by my Dad that it was better for the engine to drop a gear, rather than lug it. He hated to hear the knocking sound. But Dad never took our 800 to 80-90 the way he did with the Padmini, preferring to stay below 80 at all times.

What I remember about the light, all aluminium G-Series was that it was so much more fun. My Aunt had a carb Zen, and what I remember is that compared to our 800, it was so eager to rev, and so smooth. My cousin and I used to rev the nuts off it whenever we could get our hands on it. As it was mostly driven in the twisties in and around Idukki, Kerala, I never really had a chance to evaluate its city behaviour, but as I said, I was used to revving up the engine, and the Zen was totally game for all the thrashing my cousin and I handed out to it... They too replaced it with a black Swift when it came out, and a 5 Speed 800 was also added to their garage for my lucky cousin.

The big change that came to the MPFi versions was the much improved top end, thanks to the 4 valve head. I remember that with the 5 speed box, the 800 was transformed into such a pocket rocket, and I was sad that they stopped it. Our 800 was barely a few months old when they launched the FI versions, and we felt cheated, especially since the EX with the improved suspension was about the same price we paid for our 800.

I think the later model F engines did come with electric fuel pumps. I think our 800 had it. There was a whirring sound when you turned on the ignition, that was the electric pump priming. Thanks for a great post!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowjet
My Indica Turbo could easily keep pace with Maruti Zen / Esteem / 1000....Now I know the reason why that was the case
The Indigo/Indica's 475 Turbodiesel totally changed the game when it was launched. The Indigo TDI was Overdrive's top pick among all the sedans, even over the Esteem, for it's winning combination of space, refinement and power, in the pre-common rail era.
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Old 11th June 2021, 08:45   #440
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Originally Posted by landcruiser123 View Post
Back when Maruti Esteem was a revolutionary luxury car with 65 bhp. I was probably too young at this time, but I'm sure many BHPians can relate to this:

Note: There's probably no problem with your computer/internet connection. A few parts of the video have a black screen with no audio.
https://www.Youtube.com/watch?v=FT8V4EoJ8d8
Thanks for this excellent video. It was a fun flashback, and we got to see this "forgotten gem" by DC..

Name:  Screenshot from 20210611 084244.png
Views: 1116
Size:  214.8 KB

How I wish I could unsee it now, I had forgotten about it's existence. For those not in the know, this is DC's modern take on the Mahindra Classic/CJ340.

I think this is what Mahindra has based it's new ROXOR on.
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Old 11th June 2021, 12:44   #441
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Originally Posted by chiranjitp View Post
I am attaching the whole article here (with due credit to DBhpian anjan_c2007)
Quote:
Esteem carb & Esteem MPFi performance figures courtesy ACI:
Hey, thanks for attaching this article! This sent me down the memory lane. I remember reading some article on Autocar (I believe) which had a nice comparison between the MPFI Esteem, Accent, Opel Corsa, Ford Ikon and Fiat Sienna (I think). I still remember the Esteem MPFI holding up very well in that comparo in terms of performance.


I had tried searching for this magazine copy far and wide, but I wasn't able to find it. I think this magazine was issued in the 2002-2003 time period.

I would be eternally grateful if any bhpians have a copy of this mag and can post the article here.

Last edited by Aditya : 14th June 2021 at 05:22. Reason: Quote tags fixed
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Old 11th June 2021, 13:21   #442
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I have driven 1998 M800 F8 carb and an MPFI G13B in esteem extensively. The esteem is a dud in low end rpm. Its acceptable post 2K rpm. Its insane when you put the put down in first and second gears and you approach the top end. The tall first and second gear in esteem adds to its poor torque on wheels in 1st and 2nd gear in city, results in poor tractability. First gear and clutch slip for every speed breaker. It is a good highway cruiser. 80kmph @2000 rpm and 120kmph@3000 rpm in 5th. Dynamics is not confidence inspiring though.

With the 800s, you have to guess the rpm you are at. But the low-end pull is phenomenal. Mid range is also good. But it feels like the engine does not rev too high and there is no top-end rpm band (5k-6k+). Wonder what the max rpm is, my guess is ~5500. The 800 has extremely short gear ratio for first and feels really peppy in first 3 gears. Even the present day alto 800 is a really peppy car with excellent gear ratios.

To put things into perspective, Its really easy for 800's 145mm wide front wheels to break traction even on tarmac in first gear with slightly aggressive clutch release. But I have never been able to do that on the esteems 175mm front wheels any time. It should be possible with high rpm lot with a lot of clutch slip.
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Old 7th July 2021, 08:36   #443
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A very informative video on why the Tata Nano was not the success people and the media thought it would be:
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Old 17th July 2021, 10:19   #444
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Originally Posted by landcruiser123 View Post
A very informative video on why the Tata Nano was not the success people and the media thought it would be
Sharing my take on why the Tata Nano failed:

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The euphoria surrounding the Nano’s launch was so strong that everyone (environmentalists included) expected our streets to be filled with 1 lakh rupee Tatas everywhere. Unfortunately, that’s not how the situation panned out. The market’s response has been lukewarm at best. While the average monthly sales have been 5,756 units of the year thus far, in November 2010, the car had hit an inexplicably low 500 odd shipments. So why did the Nano not rack up 20,000 – 30,000 sales a month as expected? The answer greatly varies depending on who you are listening to, but if you ask me, there are 5 fundamental reasons:

1. Poor targeting: Let's face it, a large number of 2 wheeler owners – out of choice – don’t want to upgrade to a car. Petrol is too expensive (commuter bikes are 5 - 6 times as fuel efficient as a Nano) while a large % of motorcycle owners don’t even know how to drive. That probably explains why a majority of bookings (from the 1st round) were for the top-end LX variant.

2. It’s simply too unconventional: The Indian market, especially first-timer buyers, are a conservative lot. In that, they are extremely risk averse. The Nano is too “different” and “unconventional” for the mass market tastes. Factors like the engine placed at the back, a hatch that doesn’t open, battery under the front seat, 3-bolt wheels, differently sized front & rear tyres, lack of a glovebox et al make the Nano too different a concept for the junta. Many, including some owners, refer to the car as a toy.

3. The image of the “cheapest car” in the world: The media & Tata overplayed the “1 lakh car” bit. Let's reflect on when the Maruti 800 was launched; it was hardly pitched as a cheap car. Instead, Maruti chose to focus on the strengths of the product, which were only amplified by word-of-mouth recommendations based on owner experiences. Car ownership in India is greatly driven by aspirational value, and owning the “cheapest car in India / the world” is not something one aspires to. Simply put, the Nano lacks the all-too-crucial status that first time car owners are looking for.

4. The Nano isn’t really a 1 lakh car: The on-road pricing varies between 1.5 lakhs for the base version, and goes to well over 2 lakhs for the LX variant. Many two-wheeler owners weren't even eligible for car financing in the first place. For those that are, in our EMI-driven times, the 800, Alto & Spark aren't too far away.

5. Poor communications: Tata’s handling of the media around the Nano fire incidents left a lot to be desired. 5 out of 10 people who sat in my test Nano mentioned something or the other about the car catching fire.
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