Maruti Suzuki is planning to launch an MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) by the end of this year to take on the Toyota Innova and Mahindra Xylo.
The company showcased the R III MPV concept during the 2010 Delhi Auto Expo and the upcoming MPV will likely be based on the concept model.
The RIII concept
The RIII concept was a six-seater and offered optimal interior space without compromising on the elegance and compact nature of the car. The concept vehicle had a front which looked like an over-sized Ritz. The side profile had inclined shoulder lines. There were concealed rear tail lamps, a glass roof, aluminium accents on the side, and a chrome grille. Inspiration for design of the interior was derived from the fluidity of flowing water.
Maruti Suzuki’s new MPV
The production model of the R III will not include all the features seen on the concept it will in fact be substantially different. The upcoming MPV from Maruti’s stable will not be named ‘RIII’ and will be based on the SX4 platform.
The production version could be smaller than the Toyota Innova, the current market leader in the MPV segment. Maruti will likely offer its MPV with different seating arrangements. For instance, the top-end model could feature captain seats with beige interiors. As many of the Maruti’s current models have CNG and LPG options, the upcoming MPV could also be offered in LPG and CNG variants. Also read: Maruti Suzuki Kizashi 2.4 Automatic Road Test
Currently, the MPV segment in India grows at a steady pace. Maruti has witnessed that the overall sales in the MPV segment has increased by 26%. This could be one of the main reasons for the company exploring this category.
The top two models in the segment that have been selling consistently are the Toyota Innova and the Mahindra Xylo. The Xylo is powered by a 2.5 litre common-rail diesel engine that produces 112 bhp of power and 260 Nm of torque. This is mated to a well-spaced 5-speed gearbox. The Innova too is powered by a 2.5 litre diesel motor but produces a little less power as against the Xylo (102 bhp and 200 Nm of torque).
Both the MPVs return a mileage of 12.5 km/litre (overall) but the Innova is consistent and returns the same mileage (12.5 km/litre) even during the long run. If Maruti has to eat up the competition, apart from the pricing and comfort the MPV’s mileage too will have to be at par with the competition.
Hence, the company will have to plonk-in fuel efficient engines which will likely be a 2.0 litre or 2.5 litre diesel motor with around 100 bhp of power and 190 Nm of torque.
Like al Maruti cars this MPV too will pull volumes because of the trust we Indians bestow upon the brand and the segment in which the car is going to be placed.