The 2014 Indian Auto Expo is likely to see two big splashes from Maruti Suzuki in the form of the YL7 (global Alto and A-Star replacement) hatchback and the YL1 sedan.
This report will focus on the YL1 sedan, a car that could possibly replace the slow selling SX4 in India. Getting straight to the point, the 2014 Maruti Suzuki YL1 is based on the Suzuki AuthenticS concept. YL1 is a product development code that will eventually make way for a specific name. The car used a modified Ertiga platform, due to which it is expected to feature a tallish design with ample ground clearance, two hints of the car’s design being influenced by Indian road conditions.
The Maruti Suzuki YL-1 is currently being tested in India, and several spy shots have appeared in the media.
Since the Ertiga platform is in turn based on a modified Swift platform, the Maruti Suzuki YL1 sedan will dig into the parts bin of the Swift and the Ertiga. Therefore, expect to see a slew of common parts, ranging from the dashboard to the AC vents. This parts sharing will give Maruti Suzuki the economy of scales, thus allowing for a competitive price tag. The YL1 will be powered by petrol and turbo diesel engine options. The petrol unit is the 1.4 liter K-Series motor borrowed from the Ertiga while the diesel unit is a 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet motor, likely to be offered with 90 Bhp-200 Nm state of tune.
A five speed manual gearbox will be standard with both engines while an automatic gearbox could be an eventual possibility as most C-segment sedans sold in India feature an automatic gearbox these days. From the unofficial reports and scoops filtering in, Maruti Suzuki is said to be aiming at a bigger market share in the C-segment sedan space, an area that it hasn’t been able to crack with the SX4. Efforts in this direction include a focus on high quality interiors, a rear seat whose capaciousness rivals that of the Nissan Sunny/Renault Scala, and a premium fit and finish, hitherto unseen in Maruti Suzuki cars, most of which are built to a tight budget.
As is the case with most Maruti Suzuki car models, B+ segment upwards, the YL1 will be offered in six variants (LXi, LDi, VXi, VDi, ZXi and ZDi) spread across two engine options. While projector headlamps will be a design element common to all variants, top end variants of the car will get automatic climate control, sunglasses holder, ABS+EBD, Twin Airbags, 16 inch alloy wheels with 195 section rubber, stereo system with USB and Bluetooth functions, chromed door handles, wood trim for the dashboard, and a steering adjustable for height. Hydraulic engine mounts and heavy under-bonnet damping will be used to keep Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) levels low.
The car, which could be showcased at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo, is likely to go into serial production by the middle of the year. A launch in the second half of 2014 is likely. Pricing is likely to be up to Rs 50,000 higher than the SX4.