The humble Maruti Suzuki Omni, a car that has been as popular as the brand itself. The boxy shape, the rear sliding doors, the flat front end and the perpendicular steering wheel are one of the many features that gave this car so much character. A popular choice for kidnappers (going by our movies) this has been one of the few cars which have had such a long run in our market. Still, on sale, the Omni will soon have to be discontinued from the Indian market as the platform it is built on would not be able to meet the strict safety norms which the government will soon enforce.
Starting its life in 1984, the Omni has remained more or less the same ever since. It received two updates in its lifespan, one in 1998 and one in 2005. Speaking to carandbike on the sidelines of the company’s Q2 and half yearly results, R C Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India said, “There are certain models that cannot be made ready to meet the upcoming safety norms and we will have to discontinue them, Maruti Omni being one of them. The Maruti 800 was a very important model for us but we had to discontinue it, in a similar manner we will also discontinue the Omni.”
The engine powering the Omni was also found under the bonnet of the lovely Maruti 800. The 796cc, three-cylinder unit was good for 35 bhp and 59 Nm of torque. Mated with a 4-speed manual transmission, the Onmi sent the power to the rear wheels. It is interesting to note that the platform of other cars in the Maruti portfolio, the Eeco and Alto 800 will also not be to meet the new norms. Maruti, although is working to make these two cars ready for the future and will not discontinue the two. Do you have any memories with the Omni? Let us know in the comments.