India’s largest automobile Maruti Suzuki has started developing a new compact SUV. It will be smaller than the Vitara Brezza and will sit below it. The new compact SUV has been codenamed “YTB” internally and is being referred to as “sister car” to the Baleno.
Maruti Suzuki YTB will share a lot of components with Baleno. So, expect a similar suspension setup, underpinnings, engine and gearbox and the same Heartect platform. Sharing the same parts will help in saving a lot of research and development costs because Maruti would not have to develop everything from scratch. Instead, they would already have a lot of tried and tested parts that are being used on the Baleno.
This “sister car” strategy has already been successful with Ertiga and XL6. XL6 is a more premium version of the Ertiga. Because of this, it is sold only through the Nexa dealerships and XL6 has been doing good in the Indian market.
Engine and gearbox
It would come with the same 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine that produces 90 PS of max power and 113 Nm of peak torque. As standard, it would be offered with a 5-speed manual gearbox. This engine is called DualJet because it comes with dual injectors per cylinder instead of one. This gives more control over fueling and improves cooling.
Having said, that Baleno is also available with an older 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine that produces 83 PS of max power and 113 Nm of peak torque. If you want the CVT automatic transmission then you would have to opt for this engine. As of now, we do not know what will Maruti Suzuki do for the upcoming YTB compact SUV because they would have to offer an automatic gearbox considering every competitor now offers an automatic gearbox. So, we would have to wait for the official launch of the new compact SUV to know more about the mechanical details.
Why launch another compact SUV?
The competition has increased significantly since Maruti Suzuki first launched the Vitara Brezza in the Indian market. When the Vitara Brezza was first launched, it was priced aggressively but as time went on the prices of Vitara Brezza increased. As of now, the starting price of Vitara Brezza is Rs. 7.61 lakhs ex-showroom while the top-end variant costs Rs. 11.19 lakhs ex-showroom.
The new competitors are priced much lower than the Vitara Brezza and Maruti Suzuki is not able to decrease the price of the compact SUV. Also, a new generation of Vitara Brezza is coming next year which means that the prices will increase further. So, it makes sense for Maruti Suzuki to launch another compact SUV that sits below Vitara Brezza and competes against other affordable compact SUVs.
The upcoming Baleno based compact SUV will be competing against the Renault Kiger, Nissan Magnite, Tata Punch, upcoming Citroen C3 and lower variants of Hyundai Venue and Kia Sonet.