The iconic Maruti Suzuki 800 nameplate is envisioned to return as an electric hatchback with a tech-savvy interior
Over the last few years, we have seen quite a few iconic names making a return to the Indian market after a long hiatus such as Hyundai Santro, Jawa and Bajaj Chetak while some have left the business due to crash test standards or emission regulations like the Maruti Suzuki Gypsy and Tata Safari. The return of the legendary nameplates do bring in evocative feeling among customers.
And sometimes it is good enough to help them in boosting sales volumes. When taking about iconic cars in the domestic automotive industry, the Maruti Suzuki 800 takes an illustrious position in history and whether you are a petrolhead or not, you would have come across this name in many occasions. A prolific designed named Rajshekhar Dass recollected the past and stated ideas for the future in a recent interview.
He reminisces seeing an 800 in Turkey on a small island and was proud of its origins and he suggests that its return could be made spectacular. The production of the 800 ended in early 2014 after three decades of being in the market and garnering well over 2.5 million unit sales. It certainly defined an era of Indian motoring that brings back loads of memories.
Since the electric vehicle revolution is not really there yet, Dass believes that the return of the 800 nameplate could create evoke some sort of emotions. Just as the old model did, it could define a new generation of mobility with a product focussed at the millennials. He was quoted saying, “The electric car needs a hero, and the 800, if brought back, could inspire people to take up EVs”
He has gone as far as envisioning the Maruti Suzuki 800 EV with a drivetrain offering 130 km driving range on a single charge in real-world conditions. He has also imagined it incorporated with technologies such as fingerprint scanner and facial recognition system and even the basic variant will boast IoT features with smartphone as car’s interface.
He has rendered a haptic response enabled continuous screen floating around the interior with embedded functions like window opening, door locking and changing different window tints. His imagination shows a small electric tech-savvy hatchback but does not it erode the purpose of the 800 being a simple budget-friendly model? Well, from his point of view, the on-board tech will help it to reach out to more millennials and we certainly cannot argue against it.