Snapshot – For an automaker whose cars in India sells on the “kitna deti hai” premise, not holding the fuel efficiency crown for a full five years was an insult of sorts. Last year, Maruti Suzuki avenged this and took back the crown with the Ciaz Diesel, whose 26.02 Kmpl ARAI certified mileage figure makes it the most fuel efficient car in the country. The Ciaz is just the tip of the iceberg as Maruti Suzuki has no less than five new fuel efficiency champs lined up for the Indian car market. CarToq takes a look at India’s largest automaker’s fuel efficiency boosting technologies.
Celerio with 800cc, Twin Cylinder Diesel Engine
The Maruti Suzuki Celerio’s diesel variant is due for a launch in the next few months. The car will use a twin cylinder, 792cc turbocharged diesel motor, originally developed for the Y9T code-named light pick up truck. With a mileage figure of over 30 Kmpl, the Celerio Diesel promises to be the most fuel efficient car in India. The new engine that powers the hatchback will be the smallest such diesel motor in the country, undercutting the 936cc oil burner of the Chevr0let Beat. The Celerio Diesel will also be Maruti Suzuki’s least priced diesel powered car.
Ciaz sedan with Start-Stop Tech
Start-stop technology, also known as the idle-stop mechanism, is now common place among many cars sold in Europe. This technology works best in city traffic, where start-stop conditions lead to prolonged periods of idling time, which wastes fuel. An idle-stop system will shut the engine off after say about 10-15 seconds of idling, allowing the driver to restart the vehicle by just dabbing on the accelerator pedal. The idle-stop technology is already fitted to many of Mahindra’s SUVs and pick up trucks sold in India. On the Ciaz Diesel, this technology could improve fuel efficiency by about 5 %.
Ertiga MPV with Start-Stop Tech
Another benefit of the idle-stop technology is its effect on tail pipe emissions. This technology cuts down on tail pipe emissions, since its cuts off unnecessary idling. Apart from a start-stop system, the Ertiga will also be equipped with an automated manual transmission (AMT). The Ertiga Diesel equipped thus actually has the potential of being more efficient than the 5 speed manual gearbox equipped variant of the MPV.
YRA hatchback with 1 liter, turbo petrol engine
Turbocharging allows engine designers to build smaller engines making the same or more power than larger displacement, naturally aspirated motors. Also, turbocharging cleans up the exhaust gases and cuts down on tail pipe emissions. An increase in fuel efficiency is also the result as the recycled exhaust gases result in the unburnt carbon combusting in the engine, thereby making better use of the fuel. The other benefit of course, is increased driveability, as turbocharged petrol motors produce copious torque low down the rev range. Maruti Suzuki is likely to equip the YRA hatchback with a 1 liter-3 cylinder turbopetrol engine, the first such motor in the car maker’s portfolio. Eventually, the Swift hatchback is also likely to gain this motor, which will replace the 1.2 liter K-Series mill in due course of time.
Low cost hybrid technology for the Swift hatchback
Suzuki is working on low cost hybrid technology for deployment on budget hatchbacks. 2017 is when the Swift is expected to gain this fuel saving technology, that also cleans up tail pipe emissions. With other car makers such as Tata Motors and Mahindra also betting big on hybrid power, it is only a matter of time before many of Maruti Suzuki’s budget cars begin taking the hybrid route. India could also become a hot-bed for hybrid car manufacturing, what with Suzuki planning to use the country as a sourcing hub and the government lining up attractive subsidies under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) of 2020.