A bonafide icon, the Maruti 800 is probably the most important car to have launched in India. Take a look at this 800 whose taillights are inspired by the MINI
When the Maruti 800 launched in India in 1983, it heralded a new era in the Indian automotive market. It is rightly regarded as India’s version of the Ford Model T or the Volkswagen Beetle, making purchasing a car much more accessible than before. Compared to the erstwhile market which consisted of the likes of the HM Ambassador and the Premier Padmini, the 800 felt light years ahead in its build quality and refinement. For 21 years in a row, it remained the best-selling car in the country, finally being usurped by its grandson the Maruti Alto. The 800 is considered a legend, rightfully so, as no other vehicle has changed the landscape like it did when it arrived.
Even though it has been discontinued, the Maruti 800 remains a favourite among the aftermarket and modifying enthusiasts in India. We have come across this particular 800 which has had its taillights replaced. If you are wondering where have you seen these lights before, it is because it has the same Union Jack motif as the taillights on the current generation MINIs. The Mini Cooper much like the 800 was for India, was the cheap affordable car that gave the masses of England a set of wheels they could call their own.
Coming back to the picture, the taillights look to be LED units and it certainly gives the rear of the Maruti 800 a fresh look. The rear of the car has been de-badged and looks like its had a fresh coat of black paint. It gets a bicycle rack over the windscreen and also gets an aftermarket exhaust tip. Overall this 800 modification looks tastefully done, everything looks quite understated and not garish.
The Maruti 800 was on sale for 31 years, the second-longest of any vehicle and only behind the HM Ambassador. Over its lifespan, it went through a myriad of powertrain choices. As its name suggested, it came with an 800cc 4-cylinder petrol engine during the whole span of its production. The 800 in the picture seems to be an MPFI version which was the last big change for the model. Gone was the carburettor and in came fuel injection to meet stricter emission norms. The updated engine made peak power and torque figures of 38 PS/59 Nm respectively and was mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox.