In the next few weeks, Maruti Suzuki will introduce a bigger, more powerful turbocharged diesel engine on the recently launched new Ertiga MPV and the facelifted Ciaz sedan. The cars with the new diesel engine have already been homologated, and it’s just a matter of time before they’re launched. Many Maruti Suzuki dealers are said to be already taking bookings for the same.
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The new, 1.5 liter turbocharged diesel engine has been developed in house by Suzuki. It outputs 94 Bhp at 4,000 rpm and makes a peak torque of 225 Nm. It will be paired to a new, 6 speed manual gearbox. This engine has been developed to replace the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet diesel motor, which Maruti Suzuki will no longer produce under license from Fiat from April 2020. This is because the 1.3 liter Multijet engine will not meet Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms, which come into effect from April 2020. The norms are a lot more stricter than the current BS4 norms.
The new diesel engine will make the Maruti Ertiga and Ciaz more powerful. The new engine will also be made BS6 compliant shortly. For now though, we expect Maruti to offer both the diesel engines – the 1.3 Multijet and the new 1.5 diesel – on the Ertiga and Ciaz.
By the end of this year, the Multijet engine may be discontinued and the newly developed motor will become the standard diesel on both cars. Apart from the Ertiga and Ciaz, the S-Cross will also get the new diesel engine.
However, it remains to be seen if other Maruti cars such as the Swift, Dzire, Baleno and Vitara Brezza also get the new diesel engine. Making this engine BS6 compliant will greatly add to the costs, and a price increase between Rs. 1-1.5 lakhs is expected for BS6 compliance.
There has been talk of abandoning the diesel engine on Maruti Suzuki’s smaller cars such as the Swift, Baleno and Dzire as the cost increase is unlikely to be accepted by private car buyers. However, the cab market may still opt for diesel engined cars even in the lower segments despite the price increase. This is because cars in the cab market cover large monthly distances that make diesels still economical in the long run.
For now, the entire auto industry is scrambling to meet the Bharat Stage 6 emission norms deadline of April 2020. While most car makers will make their diesel engines BS6 compliant, some are planning to shift towards petrol- hybrids, CNG and electric powertrain. Maruti Suzuki is one such automaker exploring CNG, petrol-hybrid and electric powertrains for its smaller cars. In fact, the WagonR Electric has already begun getting tested on Indian roads. The car is expected to be launched sometime in 2020. In future, expect more petrol-hybrid and electric cars from Maruti in the lower segments.