Is HM in talks with Fiat to source the 1.3 liter multijet for the Amby CS?

Next year, Hindustan Motors will launch a sub-4 meter, compact sedan (CS) version of the Ambassador. Expect the Ambassador CS, essentially a full sized Ambassador sedan with a chopped boot, to be showcased at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo. The 1,489 cc turbo diesel engine, which Hindustan Motors recently engineered to meet BS4 emission norms, was said to be the engine that would power the compact sedan version of the Ambassador. This ancient overhead valve (OHV) motor outputs a wheezy 49 Bhp-112.5 Nm, barely enough to get the portly, 1.2 ton  Ambassador to decent speeds.

Also see: Ambassador compact sedan rendered!

A rumour on Economic Times indicates that Hindustan Motors is in talks with Italian car maker Fiat, to source engines from the latter. Now, Fiat’s 1.3 liter Multijet is almost India’s national engine, what with the motor being used on almost  15 cars sold in India (including those powering the General Motors Sail hatchback & sedan, and the Enjoy MPV). Adding the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engine to the Ambassador sedan or compact sedan will make the car peppier and lighter.

However, the big question here is whether Hindustan Motors will actually use the 1.3 liter turbo diesel engine on the Ambassador sedan/CS as adding this engine to a multi-decade old car platform would involve heavy re-engineering and higher costs. Notably, adapting the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engine to run with a rear wheel drive layout has already been done on the Premier Rio compact SUV. As of now, Hindustan Motors remains tight lipped about which product it plans to use the Fiat Multijet diesel engine on.

Hindustan Motors’ future plans include contract manufacturing (CKD assembling) Isuzu pick up trucks and SUVs at its Tiruvallur factory, off Chennai. While there has been talk of an all-new Ambassador with a completely revamped look and feel, that project has been in the works for many years. For now, Hindustan Motors’ focus remains on marketing the 1.5 liter BS4 turbo diesel engined Ambassador sedan to cabbies in India, while also readying up the compact sedan model to cater to more buyers, mainly from the cab operator segment.