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Maruti Suzuki to replace diesel engines with turbo petrols post BS6?

Maruti Suzuki is positive about discontinuing diesel engines come April 2020, when the much tighter Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms come into effect in India. While a lot of car buyers are likely to miss the sheer torque that the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet diesel engine offers across many Maruti Suzuki cars, the automaker is said to be readying up turbocharged petrol engines to fill in the gap created by the discontinuation of diesel motors. Currently, Maruti offers a single car – the Baleno – with a turbo petrol engine. The engine in question is a 1 liter-3 cylinder unit, and is called BoosterJet. This motor makes 101 Bhp of peak power and 150 Nm of peak torque, and is paired with a five speed manual gearbox. It’s offered in the high performance RS variant of the Baleno. The engine gets turbocharging and direct injection – technologies that cut down on fuel consumption and boost torque. Due to the lower fuel consumption, tail pipe emissions are also curtailed.

2019 Maruti Baleno Rs

After April 2020, more cars such as the Maruti Swift, Ignis, regular variants of the Baleno, the Dzire and possibly even the Brezza compact SUV could hop onto the 1 liter turbo petrol BoosterJet engine. Maruti’s spokesperson hasn’t confirmed this development though. When queried by BusinessWorld about Maruti introducing the turbo petrol engine, here’s what the spokesperson had to say,

The primary reason for us to announce the discontinuation of our diesel vehicles is the extremely high cost of upgrading current BS4 diesel vehicles to BS6 compliant vehicles (by April 2020). The cost increase is expected to be in the range of over Rs. 1 lakh”. We have already introduced two of the popular high-volume models Alto and Baleno with the new BS-VI compliant variants. Progressively other petrol models in our range will be upgraded to BS-VI.

These statements indicate that Maruti doesn’t really need turbocharging and direct injection on its petrol engines for them to meet BS6 norms. Case in point is the Maruti Alto, which received a facelift recently. The Alto is now BS6 compliant. On a similar note, Maruti Suzuki could make its other staple petrol engines: the 1 liter K-Series and 1.2 liter K-Series units BS6 compliant without adding a turbocharger and direct injection. However, for those customers who seek a torque heavy car, turbo petrol engines still make a lot of sense.

In fact, most major automakers have begun betting big on turbocharged petrol engines, and in due course of time, they are likely to become popular in cars across segments. Hyundai introduced its first turbo petrol engine in India with the Venue compact SUV. Tata has already begun offering turbo petrol engines in the JTP trims of the Tiago and Tigor. Mahindra hit the turbo petrol button on the XUV300 while many other car makers are also expected to bring in more turbo petrol engines in the near future. BS6 could be the tipping point for turbo petrols in India.