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Maruti to extend 800 and Omni life-span
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The Maruti 800 and Omni could get a fresh lease of life if the ageing F-series engine that powers the 800, Omni, Alto and Wagon R is upgraded to new emission standards.

Despite a statement by Maruti chairman R C Bhargava that the 800 would be discontinued in 11 metro cities by April 2010, when tougher Bharat Stage IV norms kick in, it now seems like Maruti’s bread-and-butter models could get a new lease of life.

One option is to replace the F-series engines with the all-new and significantly cleaner K-series motor. However, packaging the K-series into the 800, Alto and Wagon R is proving to be a nightmare for Maruti engineers.

An easier option hence would be to increase the ‘after treatment’ with catalysts on the F-series engines to make them cleaner. This isn’t easy either as it will call for fine calibration of the engine to balance out loss of power and efficiency from the increased back pressure of a bigger catalyst.

Maruti with its wide model range, has to stagger the introduction of its Stage IV engines, and has already begun work to meet the April 2010 deadline. The Ritz is Maruti’s first Stage IV- compliant engined car.
[Image: omniweb.jpg]
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