Rumour: Diesel powered Maruti A-Star/Suzuki Alto might be delayed until 2015

Maruti Suzuki’s first homegrown diesel engine will be an 800cc twin cylinder unit. This is something that has been leaked a long time back.

Many months ago, rumours indicated that this engine will also be used in Maruti Suzuki small car and that these diesel powered cars will be on Indian roads as early as 2014. Now, we have another rumour arriving, this time only to scotch the previous ones.

The latest rumour asserts that Maruti is indeed in the middle of developing a twin cylinder, 800cc turbo diesel engine. However, this engine won’t be used in Maruti’s small car range. Instead this engine will be used on the Y9T light pick up truck that Maruti is developing for the goods carrying segment. The diesel engined pick up truck will debut only in 2015.

The reason given for Maruti not using the 800cc turbo diesel engine in its small car range initially is interesting. Since it is Maruti’s first attempt at engineering a diesel engine from scratch, the 800cc turbo diesel engine might not be refined enough for use in the automaker’s small car range. Hence, the engine will make its debut in the Y9T pick up truck first and then be refined suitably for use in Maruti small cars.

So, all the time lines of the next generation Suzuki Alto/Maruti A-Star, internally called the YL7, and featuring the 800 cc turbo diesel engine might not be valid anymore. Also, Tata Motors seems all set to trump Maruti in terms of introducing a diesel engined entry level, small car in India through the Nano Diesel. Karl Slym, the managing director of Tata Motors, has emphatically stated that the Nano Diesel will be launched in early 2014.

If you’re looking for a frugal diesel hatchback that costs well under 4 lakh rupees to buy, the Nano Diesel could be your only option until 2015 at least.