We have seen multiple takes from auto enthusiasts and CGI experts on a next-gen Maruti 800 (Maruti 800 EV) this year. Now, 21-year old Shashank Shekar, a third year transportation design student from India, has designed a next-gen Maruti Omni that would perfectly suit the EV era.
Maruti Suzuki doesn’t plan to launch a next-gen Omni/Omni EV, but if it ever does, we hope it turns out to look as hip as Shashank’s renders.
Last year, Maruti Suzuki stopped selling the Omni 35 years after its launch. If it weren’t for the new safety and emission regulations, Maruti Suzuki could have kept the affordable people mover and economical workhorse going for a few years.
The next-gen Maruti Omni in the rendering features a semi-bonnet package, as opposed to the discontinued model’s cab-over format. In the real world, this change would mean aerodynamic improvements, greater convenience (in maintenance/repairs) and enhanced safety. Overall, the Maruti Omni EV looks bigger, squarer and techy.
The curvy rectangular headlamps with C-shaped and straight-line LED inserts are smoked out. They make the van look expressive and emotional, which is a tell-tale sign of futuristic EVs (VW ID. Buzz anyone?). The bonnet and bumper both have a clean, uninterrupted surfacing for giving the van a low-profile look. At the bottom, there are horizontal LED fog lamps.
On the sides, the squarish wheel arches and alloy wheels, the chunky mirrors, the black underbody cladding continued from the front and a high ground clearance give a tough styling to the next-gen Maruti Omni EV. The handles of the conventional front doors and the sliding rear doors are placed together. An interesting point to note here is that the front door handles have orange light reflectors. The side turn indicators on the B-pillar are set deep inside, and they complement the turn indicators integrated into the ORVMs.
I imagine the Omni coming back on a electric skateboard chassis. The design has the cues from the original, but it has the modern touch. I wanted it to be a bit understated. The segment where the Omni used to be is now covered by hatchbacks, and I thought let’s reposition it to be a competitor to the Renault Triber, making it bigger and modern but with the essence of simplicity and in an electric version!Shashank Shekar on the reborn Omni’s positioning
At the rear, the Maruti Omni EV features familiar combination lamps but with LED light guides and a full-width LED stripe on the tailgate connecting them. It is at this angle that the all-new Maruti Omni appears wider. The 21st century Maruti Omni packs a rear wiper and rear fog lamps as well. The illustrated Maruti van looks really cool in the white-black dual-tone colour scheme.
A Maruti Omni EV like this could serve as a very interesting leisure-purpose vehicle at the Maruti Suzuki Arena dealerships apart from its obvious commercial duties via the Maruti Suzuki Commercial channel.
If you ask me about the interior, I would go for something with smart space management as utility comes first when you talk of the Omni. There would be lots of cubby holes and space for bags and items, utilizing the space to its maximum where the seats can fold and form a flat base.Shashank Shekar on the interior of the Maruti Omni EV concept
Shekar, who briefed us on the design, sees his next-gen Maruti Omni 4,000 mm long, 1,735 mm wide and 1,860 mm tall, and costing anywhere between INR 5-7 lakh (ex-showroom). Battery prices have to fall further for electric cars to be able to come at those price points, which is expected in a few years. The old model measured 3,370 mm in length, 1,410 mm in width and 1,640 mm in height, and it was priced from under INR 3 lakh (ex-showroom).
On the topic of electric vans, be sure to check out the Morris Commercial JE that goes on sale in the UK next year.