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Old 1st April 2023, 15:57   #1
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End of an era | R.I.P. to Maruti-Suzuki's legendary 796cc engine

Finally, the era came to an end. After the iconic Maruti 800, Maruti Suzuki decided to stop the production of Alto 800.

Are we really going to miss the small car ?

Ironically, the news came on the same day, the pictures of TATA Nano started circulating in the internet.

Source : https://www.indiatoday.in/auto/cars/...153-2023-03-31

https://www.livemint.com/auto-news/m...321448030.html
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Old 2nd April 2023, 11:32   #2
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Re: End of an era | R.I.P. to Maruti-Suzuki's legendary 796cc engine

More than the Alto 800, it's the iconic 796cc Maruti-Suzuki engine that is the talking point here. Changing thread title.

The little 0.8L motor has done duty for 40 years in India, reliably and economically. In the 80s & 90s, it was "fast" by then standards. Everyone thought the 800 was too delicate and will disintegrate on our roads, but the 796cc motor proved that it can take a whole lot of abuse.

Farewell to an iconic engine that so many of us on the forum learned how to drive on . From carb to MPFI, 4-speed to 5-speed and many Bharat Stage emission norm levels...the motor tried its best to keep up with the times. Alas, BS6 RDE Phase 2 meant its death knell and just as well. Time to move on to bigger, newer motors:
End of an era | R.I.P. to Maruti-Suzuki's legendary 796cc engine-dsc_2428.jpg

Trivia: The Maruti 800 5-speed MPFi could max out its speedometer and then go some more .
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Old 2nd April 2023, 15:01   #3
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Re: End of an era | R.I.P. to Maruti-Suzuki's legendary 796cc engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
. Everyone thought the 800 was too delicate and will disintegrate on our roads, but the 796cc motor proved that it can take a whole lot of abuse.

Trivia: The Maruti 800 5-speed MPFi could max out its speedometer and then go some more .
Superb little naturally aspirated package. Suzuki absolutely changed the world for us Indians.
Indeed in the roaring 80s most of us in the hills owned Ambassadors and Mahindras.
And I distinctly remember conversations where people would scoff at the little Maruti in a dismissive manner.
Yes I agree it didn't have the luggage and passenger carrying capacity that perhaps an Ambassador and Mahindra Jeep did, but everywhere else the little Maruti simply outshone everything else on the road at the time. I still remember so many of them zipping up and down the Nilgiris with happy abandon.
Maruti 800s, Maruti Vans (both High Roof and Flat Roof) and the Maruti Gypsys with their bigger 970 cc engines of course!
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Old 2nd April 2023, 16:18   #4
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Re: End of an era | R.I.P. to Maruti-Suzuki's legendary 796cc engine

Apart from the major role this engine has played in putting India on four wheels since 1984 in the Maruti variants, in auto transmissions, four and five speed gear boxes, this engine with MPFI was also fitted to the Daewoo Matiz. The peppy, small car died a premature death.

My 1987 Maruti 800 SB308 still lugs on flawlessly, though a few of the old time spares are getting tougher to procure.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 2nd April 2023 at 16:23.
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Old 3rd April 2023, 09:21   #5
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Re: End of an era | R.I.P. to Maruti-Suzuki's legendary 796cc engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Trivia: The Maruti 800 5-speed MPFi could max out its speedometer and then go some more .
An amazing car with 5-speed MPFI. I owned one from 2001 to 2012 for about 65000 kilometers.

It was utter lack of maturity on my part but I did manage to max her out (just for the sake of testing) on Mumbai-Pune expressway with 4 adults and lots of luggage. It was noisy and scary, but I was surprised by the number that was achieved on the speedo.
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Old 3rd April 2023, 10:20   #6
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Re: End of an era | R.I.P. to Maruti-Suzuki's legendary 796cc engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

The little 0.8L motor has done duty for 40 years in India, reliably and economically. In the 80s & 90s, it was "fast" by then standards. Everyone thought the 800 was too delicate and will disintegrate on our roads, but the 796cc motor proved that it can take a whole lot of abuse.
Quite quick even today. I often see people ripping it on the hills (more often than not in a dangerous manner) with their Altos and 800s and the engine has clearly stood the test of time. Learnt quite of bit of driving on my Mum's old Alto. The engine is truly a champion of the masses.
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Old 3rd April 2023, 10:59   #7
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Re: End of an era | R.I.P. to Maruti-Suzuki's legendary 796cc engine

Strong low-end grunt for city usage- Check
Clearing speed breaker in 2nd gear- Check
Climbing steep incline with 5 people and luggage- Check
Triple digit speeds- Check
Consistently high fuel economy- Check
No overheating- Check
1-1.5 lac km+ longevity- Check
Cheap to maintain- Check
Easy to repair- Check

What an engine !

*Based on my 25 years of ownership from early 90's to late 2010's.

Last edited by xjosephjacob : 3rd April 2023 at 11:00.
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Old 3rd April 2023, 11:22   #8
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Re: End of an era | R.I.P. to Maruti-Suzuki's legendary 796cc engine

RIP you little gem. A brilliant example of efficient Japanese engineering combined with Indian jugaad! The way Maruti kept on using this engine with various iterations and transmission combinations right upto 2023, is remarkable indeed.

The Omni (my first car), the M800 5speed MPFI and of course the 1st gen Alto VXi - will always be the best uses of this engine in my mind. Literally moved India. Have a lot of respect for the F8D's capabilities and the engineers who came up with this little monster.

At the same time - I'd not really shed a tear for it finally leaving the stage. It was long overdue. Today's India is fast. Cars powered by the F8D, are inherently light-weight (flimsy) in build, with absolutely no safety to talk of, and are very slowly driven on fast highways. Often with drivers (like most of us) that are not too good at road discipline. These were slowly becoming a risk for everyone on the road too, without us noticing it. So - good that these cars are finally taking an exit. Nothing wrong in the cars and the engine - It was the people that were and still are putting these cars in the places where they don't belong. On highways and in the fastest lane of expressways.
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Old 3rd April 2023, 11:46   #9
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Re: End of an era | R.I.P. to Maruti-Suzuki's legendary 796cc engine

30 years back my aunt and uncle from the US used to visit Mumbai regularly. Being ex Mumbaikars themselves they used to get into the thick of things as soon as they landed. This included borrowing our 800. Each time we'd meet them during their trip the first thing they would say - That car is so nice to drive and so compact in and out of Mumbai traffic. They absolutely loved the little upstart.

Over the years we owned two 800's & one flat roof van with the same engine. Always started, never let us down ever. Not a single occurrence even up and down the ghats.

An incident that comes to mind happened with the flat roof van. Another aunt and uncle of mine used to visit us every other year from the UK. We used to drive to Khandala many a time in the van. In those days there was no expressway. One day a donkey decided to cross the road right in front of the van. Although my dad braked really hard and swerved, the donkey still got hit.

Worried everyone rushed out of the car only to see if the donkey was fine. To everyone's amazement, it got up and walked off as if nothing had happened and without a sound. We checked for damage to the car, and would you believe that the rib cage of the animal was imprinted in the tin of the car (Area between the headlights and the bumper of the van for those who recall how it was shaped)

Amazing simple times.
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Old 3rd April 2023, 13:27   #10
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Re: End of an era | R.I.P. to Maruti-Suzuki's legendary 796cc engine

Indian car scene developed around two engines. This 796cc petrol and 1248 cc diesel mill. Unfortunately both are history now.
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Old 3rd April 2023, 13:53   #11
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Re: End of an era | R.I.P. to Maruti-Suzuki's legendary 796cc engine

Ideally it should be marked as UNESCO Heritage for India Many of us spent our childhood commuting via Maruti 800 and it was a gem of a car. It was my first car too and never ever it failed us. It was our pocket mein Rocket version

Salute to Maruti which brought the quintessential personal vehicle revolution in India and the concept of affording a car believable way back in early 80s and 90s.

Hats off to Maruti for creating a service network so enriched and spanning across length and breadth of India.

An era did end, but boy what a befitting & royal end Its etched in our hearts for ever!!
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Old 3rd April 2023, 14:43   #12
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Re: End of an era | R.I.P. to Maruti-Suzuki's legendary 796cc engine

As GTO said, this was the engine/car on which I learnt driving (M800) and have many fond memories. What a quantum leap it was over the Ambassador and Padmini in terms of smoothness, pick-up and engine noise! Will be remembered forever. RIP little rocket!
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Old 3rd April 2023, 14:51   #13
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Re: End of an era | R.I.P. to Maruti-Suzuki's legendary 796cc engine

Just like many other fellow Indians, I too began by journey behind the wheel on this beauty of an engine. It was abuse friendly, low maintenance and efficient, but that didn't diminish its swag. I am from the hills and have seen some of the most innovative mods done on M 800s and Alto 800s, some of them could give the more well known mod shops, a serious run for their money. Yes the world has changed a lot,
and that drives innovation, and from time to time it spells the end of the road for some of the older workhorses. But for an engine to be relevant (or dominant) for across 5 decades says a lot about it.

Those still owning this, should take a lot of pride and care, and for those who have owned or driven it in the past, cherish the memories of the beauty that India drove in.
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Old 3rd April 2023, 15:09   #14
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Re: End of an era | R.I.P. to Maruti-Suzuki's legendary 796cc engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
At the same time - I'd not really shed a tear for it finally leaving the stage. It was long overdue. Today's India is fast. Cars powered by the F8D, are inherently light-weight (flimsy) in build, with absolutely no safety to talk of, and are very slowly driven on fast highways. Often with drivers (like most of us) that are not too good at road discipline. These were slowly becoming a risk for everyone on the road too, without us noticing it. So - good that these cars are finally taking an exit. Nothing wrong in the cars and the engine - It was the people that were and still are putting these cars in the places where they don't belong. On highways and in the fastest lane of expressways.
Sorry but I'm tempted to say this. In 2023 at similar price there is a choice of F8D 3 cylinder 0.8L or twin cylinder 0.65L! My choice will be this 0.8L for AC, marginally better safety and all climate driveability (setting aside windblast feel, emotions).
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Old 3rd April 2023, 15:18   #15
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Re: End of an era | R.I.P. to Maruti-Suzuki's legendary 796cc engine

Cant believe this engine is already a classic legend! Enjoyed this engine in MPFI version in my first car. Also, had an OMNI Carb recently which was nice and peppy. I now have the 87 800 carb version, just to experience this engine all over again!

Best in FE, performance, practicality, and of course cheap on maintenance.
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