Maruti Suzuki working on a Baleno based compact SUV to rival Tata Punch

Maruti Suzuki is working on a new vehicle that will be based on the Baleno. It will be a small compact SUV that will be going against the Tata Punch, Nissan Magnite and Renault Kiger. It has been codenamed YTB and it will be positioned between S-Presso and Vitara Brezza. Because of its pricing and positioning, it will also go against lower variants of Hyundai Venue and Kia Sonet.

Maruti Suzuki working on a Baleno based compact SUV to rival Tata Punch

Maruti Suzuki YTB will share a lot of its underpinnings with the Baleno. It will share the same Heartect platform that is used on Baleno and other Maruti vehicles such as Ertiga, XL6, S-Presso, Ignis, Dzire, Swift and WagonR. This should help in providing a decent safety rating and decent cabin space for the occupants. The Heartect platform also makes the vehicle lightweight which helps with a lot of things like fuel efficiency, handling, riding dynamics etc. Also, platform sharing will help in saving R&D costs.

The YTB will be offered only with petrol engine options. Because the powertrain will be shared with Baleno, we expect it to use the new 1.2-litre DualJet VVT petrol engine. It is a four-cylinder, naturally aspirated unit that gets two fuel injectors per cylinder instead of one.

Maruti Suzuki working on a Baleno based compact SUV to rival Tata Punch

The engine puts out 90 PS of max power and 113 Nm of peak torque. As of now, this engine only gets a 5-speed manual gearbox. On the other hand, Baleno is also offered with a CVT automatic transmission, if you get the older 1.2-litre petrol engine. However, the new engine is more fuel-efficient and also comes with mild-hybrid technology. There will be no diesel engine on offer because Maruti Suzuki has phased out diesel engines out of their line-up. They may introduce an S-CNG variant of the new compact SUV in the future.

The YTB would measure under 4-metres in length to take the tax advantages. It might have a crossover or a couple like design language that we saw on the Futuro-e Concept at the Auto Expo 2020. The reason behind launching a new more affordable compact SUV is that now, there are a lot of compact SUVs that undercut the prices of Vitara Brezza.

The prices of Vitara Brezza have increased quite a bit since it was first introduced in the Indian market. Due to this, people who are on a budget are considering other compact SUVs like Hyundai Venue, Renault Kiger, Nissan Magnite or Kia Sonet. Tata will also be launching the Punch on 20th October which will also make the competition even tougher. So, it makes sense for the manufacturer to launch an affordable compact SUV that can compete against other affordable rivals.

New gen Vitara Brezza

Maruti Suzuki working on a Baleno based compact SUV to rival Tata Punch

Maruti Suzuki is also working on a new generation of Vitara Brezza. So, the prices of compact SUV will increase even more. The new generation is being called YXA internally. The current generation of Vitara Brezza has started to show its age. The new generation Vitara Brezza will retain its boxy styling and is expected to be based on the Heartect platform. It will be offered with the current 1.5-litre naturally aspirated engine.

Paarth Khatri

Paarth's passion for cars started by collecting newspaper clippings when he was just a toddler. He is obsessed with cars and technology and can talk about them all day. He has an undying love for cars with a manual transmission and is always ready to drive anything with 2 or 4 wheels. Being an audiophile his dream car is Lexus LFA, considering it is the best sounding car ever made. He would happily burn the last gallon of petrol for a lap in the Ariel Atom 500. (Full bio)