Maruti Suzuki to pull the plug on legendary 796cc engine
After being in production for 40 years, Maruti Suzuki has finally decided to pull the plug on its iconic 796cc engine by the end of this financial year. Codenamed the "F8," the inline-triple mill was first seen under the hood of the Maruti 800 in 1983. The reasons behind the discontinuation of the legendary motor are the upcoming emission norms and limited demand.
Why does this story matter?
In 1983, Maruti Suzuki, or the then Maruti Udyog Limited, sold its first car, the Maruti 800 (Suzuki Fronte SS80), in India. The car became hugely popular due to its efficient and reliable 796cc F8 engine. However, with the stricter emissions norms coming in April 2023, it is not feasible for the brand to continue the production of its beloved engine.
The 'F8' is one of the most iconic F-series engines
The first-ever Maruti 800 was powered by a 796cc, SOHC, 6-valve engine that generated a maximum power of 39hp in the F8B and 48hp in the F8D avatar. It was one of the most fuel-efficient motors by the homegrown brand that delivered a mileage figure of 24.5km/liter (as per ARAI). The mill also did duty under the hoods of the Omni and Alto.
What are upcoming RDE and CAFE 2 norms?
The upcoming Real Driving Emissions (RDE) and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE 2) norms are part of the second phase of BS6 regulations. The former relies on real-world test conditions rather than laboratory, while the latter lowers the permissible CO2 emission levels for fleet vehicles.
The development cost is too high
With increasingly stringent and frequent emission regulation changes, the research and development cost for all automakers is increasing. It would not be feasible for Maruti Suzuki to keep developing the 40-year-old engine to match the current standards. The diminishing demand for the mill in recent years is also a reason why the homegrown carmaker is finally axing the legendary motor.