Days ago, Maruti Suzuki showcased the Swift Range Extender Hybrid hatchback at the International Green Mobility Expo 2015, held at New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan. The Swift Range Extender Hybrid’s USP is its 48.2 Kmpl claimed mileage, which will make it the most fuel efficient car sold in India, beating the recently launched BMW i8 Hybrid Sportscar. The car will be deployed for use in the Indian government. Maruti Suzuki is tightlipped on whether the car will hit serial production. However, given the automaker’s growing focus on hybrids, the Swift Hybrid’s production plans may not be too far off.
The car in question can operate in multiple modes – series hybrid, parallel hybrid and all-electric. In series hybrid mode, the on-board petrol engine will be used as as a generator to power the lithium ion battery stack, which will in turn power the 73 HP electric motor. In this mode, the small capacity, 3 cylinder petrol engine that displaces 658cc will not drive the car directly, but will indirectly help generate electricity to power the electric motor that is the direct drive. In parallel hybrid mode, both the electric motor and the petrol engine will combine to maximize fuel efficiency depending on the situation at hand.
For instance, city traffic will see the car reverting to electric mode. In instances requiring quick acceleration, the electric motor will supplement the petrol engine and at higher speeds on the highway, the electric mode will give way to petrol power. In all-electric mode, the car is capable of delivering a 25 kilometer range. The car’s lithium ion batteries can be charged to full capacity in 90 minutes, using a 200 volt charging point. At a kerb weight of 1,600 kilograms, the Swift Hybrid is quite porky and this can be attributed to the car’s lithium ion battery stack and the electric motor’s paraphernalia.
Intelligently combining petrol and electric power will see the Swift Hybrid delivering a 48.2 Kmpl combined mileage, says Maruti Suzuki. In terms of equipment, the Swift Range Extender Hybrid gains disc brakes on all four wheels, revised instrumentation and a new infotainment cluster on the dashboard. The space in the boot is now limited as the battery stack takes up some room. The next and third generation version of the Swift, due in 2017, could see the addition of a hybrid variant as standard fare, in addition to petrol and diesel powered options. This change is in order given tightening emissions around the world, along with a greater demand for fuel efficient compact cars.