Seen here are the first set of leaked images of what the all-new WagonR will look like. The car is expected to make its Japanese debut in February and the development for the all-new car has already begun in India as well. This is how the Indian WagonR could look like too.

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The WagonR has been a strong selling model for Maruti over the past decade. What people don’t know however is that when it was initially introduced, it didn’t really do well in the market. Maruti then decided to package it as a roomy offering which was practical and yet had adequate punch. The WagonR became a mega hit, and has stayed that way for years. Now though, the car is showing its age. Time then, for a major revamp.

What’s new?

First thing you will notice is that the overall tall boy design has been carried forward. This means that the car will continue to be spacious, a key USP of the Wagon R. There is a major design change. The Wagon R now gets dual headlamps on each side, which are horizontally slit.

There are two grilles as well. The top one is similar to the one offered on the current Wagon R Stingray, while the bottom one has an opening. The bumper is all-new too and gets a much more sporty and aggressive look, as opposed to the dull look the current one has.

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The side profile has some drama with a distinct shape on the B-pillar. The glass area becomes narrower as you go down the B-pillar, making it a unique design. At the back, the new Wagon R has tail lamps at the lower end (bumper height), something that is common on most small Japanese cars. Even the new Alto has similarly styled tail lamp cluster. This will surely give the Wagon R in India a distinctive look.

The Stingray will also gain a new look, which is much more sophisticated than the normal Wagon R. It will get a large single headlamp cluster, a new grill and a new bumper up front where as the back will get new tail lamps and new bumper. The car is based on Suzuki’s new TECT body technology, which means there will be massive weight shedding on this one as well. This will help keep the fuel economy figures high, something that us Indians will appreciate.

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The Japanese model is powered by a 660 cc engine, in non-turbo and turbo trims. These engines are unlikely to make it to India. The current K10 engine is expected to continue on the new vehicle as well. What is interesting is the fact that the Japanese version maybe getting a mild-hybrid version too.

Maruti has revealed that they are studying the prospects of the mild-hybrid system in India. The current system is imported and hence costs a lot. It is therefore only offered on the Ciaz and the Ertiga. If the company sees demand rise, they will begin locally producing the system enabling them to bring this feature to their cheaper cars too.

There are new safety norms that have come about in Japan which means that the Japanese spec car will certainly be loaded on the safety front as well. Since the Indian norms will be in place soon, we expect some of them to get carried forward to the Indian vehicle too. Details on the interiors are still not yet known.

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Competition?

The Wagon R currently competes with its own sibling, the Celerio and Tata’s newly launched compact hatchback, the Tiago. While the Tiago is a lot more vibrant and youthful, the Wagon R appeals to the more conservative and mature consumer, whose main objective is practicality. From the looks of the new one, Maruti may be wanting to change that image of the Wagon R.

When’s it expected in India?

While work on the all-new vehicle has already begun, it will not be coming our way before mid-2018.

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