Over four years. That’s how long the XA Alpha compact SUV concept will take to hit the production floor at one of Maruti Suzuki’s many car making facilities in India. Maruti Suzuki Chairman, Mr. R.C. Bhargava, has confirmed the automaker’s compact SUV plans and has revealed that India’s largest automaker would arrive onto the sub-4 meter SUV scene in the first half of 2016.
The XA Alpha concept’s production version will be the first compact SUV to wear the Maruti Suzuki badge. A year ahead of the XA Alpha, the Suzuki S-Cross crossover will be launched in India. With these two SUVs, Maruti Suzuki plans to grab a growing pie of the compact SUV market of India. The XA Alpha is likely to be offered with petrol and turbo diesel engine options.
Considering its sub-4 meter positioning, expect the XA Alpha petrol engine to displace under 1.2 liters while the turbo diesel engine of the compact SUV will displace under 1.5 liters. While the details of the XA Alpha’s petrol engine remain under wraps, the turbo diesel engine is likely to be either the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet motor or a unit from the new crop of turbo diesel motors that Suzuki is developing at Japan.
Suzuki’s new crop of turbo diesel engines will feature capacities varying between 1.2 liters and 1.6 liters. A 1.4 liter diesel engine from the new Suzuki range could be the one shoehorned into the compact SUV’s engine bay. The XA Alpha is expected to be priced well below the 10 lakh rupee mark, even possibly gunning for the Ford EcoSport’s price positioning considering the former’s sub-4 meter size that offers attractive excise benefits.
On the other hand, the Suzuki S-Cross, which is a distinctly European crossover, will be priced and positioned above the Xa Alpha. Expect the S-Cross to rub shoulders with the Renault Dusters and the Mahindra XUV500s of this world. A diesel-only route is said to be in the works for the S-Cross, which is expected to use a 1.6 liter-4 cylinder turbo diesel engine, either from the Fiat Multijet or the Peugeot HDi diesel engine line ups.