Maruti Suzuki seems to have decided that crowding the small car segment is the way to protect its market share—and that may not be a bad move. So it is showcasing two cars– Palette and MR Wagon—at Auto Expo 2012.
Palette is a rather interesting car…almost a mini, mini van with sliding doors in the rear. This rather tall car packs in a lot of space in a body about the size of Wagon R. Under its hood lies a 658cc petrol engine that belts out 53 Bhp of power and returns a fuel economy of around 18-20 Kmpl for the automatic variant sold abroad.
Maruti hasn’t said when it would launch but we’d expect it to arrive this year itself as the competition heats up. The interesting part would be how Maruti slots it—will it price it in the Wagon R range (Rs. 3.25-4 lakh) or charge a premium that will put it in the Ritz range (Rs. 4-5 lakh).
MR Wagon is another Wagon R looking car but is cuter. The MR Wagon sold in Japan shares its engine with the Suzuki Palette. The 658 cc, 3 pot engine puts out 53 bhp of power and has a mileage of around 20 Kmpl for the automatic variants sold abroad. When launched in India, expect Maruti Suzuki to plonk in a 998 cc engine for the MR Wagon.
The previous generation MR Wagon was actually Zen Estilo in India. So Maruti might decide to retain the Estilo in the lower price band of Rs. 2.75 lakh plus while bringing MR Wagon in the Wagon R price range.
We don’t expect Maruti to discontinue either Wagon R or Estilo any time soon. Instead, Maruti will use the addition of these two models to increase options for consumers and target more price/need points. And that’s never a bad thing.