Snapshot: Maruti Suzuki is likely to downsize an all-new 1.6 liter turbo diesel engine that Suzuki is developing as a part of a new diesel engine family. The downsized 1.5 liter diesel engine is rumoured to find use in the XA-Alpha compact SUV.
Maruti Suzuki is Japanese automaker Suzuki’s crown jewel, with the India-based car making subsidiary delivering more than half of Suzuki’s global sales volumes. In diesel happy India, the lack of a homegrown turbo diesel engine has meant that Maruti Suzuki uses the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engine in all of its diesel engined cars. This also means that Maruti pays a hefty royalty to Fiat, for every diesel car it sells.
To reduce Maruti and Suzuki’s dependence on Fiat, Suzuki’s engineers in Japan are developing a new diesel engine family. This turbo diesel engine range will engines with capacities of 800 cc, 1 liter 1.2 liters, 1.4 liters and 1.6 liters. The 1.6 liter turbo diesel engine, which while being the most powerful motor in Suzuki’s diesel engine range, is likely to be downsized for India. Rumored-ly, the 2016 Maruti Suzuki XA-Alpha compact SUV will use the downsized engine.
Why is Suzuki planning to downsize the 1.6 liter turbo diesel engine for use in India-spec cars?
The Indian government levies lower excise duties on cars measuring under 4 meters in length, with sub-1.2 liter petrol engines and sub-1.5 liter diesel engines. Since, most of Maruti Suzuki’s best selling cars are compact cars that measure under 4 meters in length, a diesel engine that displaces under 1.5 liters is the need of the day. With the XA-Alpha compact SUV also a sub-4 meter car, a 1.5 liter turbo diesel engine is a logical choice for excise duty benefits.
The Maruti Suzuki XA-Alpha, which made its debut at the 2012 Indian Auto Expo in concept form, will go into serial production in 2016. In India, the compact SUV is likely to be pitted straight at the Ford EcoSport. The XA-Alpha will be one of the three new SUVs that Maruti Suzuki plans to launch in India by 2017. The two other SUVs are: Suzuki SX4 due for a late 2014 launch and the iV4 crossover, due for a 2016 launch.