2015 was a mixed bag for Maruti Suzuki. Established products kept on doing well, and the Baleno helped the brand increase its lead in the premium segment. On the flip side, the S-Cross didn’t receive a huge response from the market while the Celerio diesel turned out to be just okay. We look at what Maruti plans to offer in the future (or to be specific, in the next year):
But before we get to the all-new vehicles, here’s one likely to be launched first. It’s also expected to be a very important addition:
Swift Dzire AMT
Recently spotted with a demo/test-drive stickers, the Swift Dzire AMT is expected to be the closest launch from the company. With only Tata Zest available with a diesel automatic variant in the segment, it’s sure going to be interesting what MSIL can offer.
Mechanically it’s going to remain unchanged except for the inclusion of the automated manual transmission. Given how Maruti has priced its AMT-equipped cars, expect the automatic gearbox to be pricier by half a lakh.
Also read: Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire AMT spotted
And now, the all new vehicles:
Maruti Vitara Brezza YBA Compact SUV
Maruti Suzuki doesn’t have a product in the compact SUV segment, and both the demand and the competition is tough. What remains to be seen is how the company positions its upcoming compact SUV, which was codenamed YBA.
Said to be ready for a launch at the 2016 Auto Expo next year, the YBA will be under four metres in length. With the Ford EcoSport in its sight, the compact SUV is likely to be offered in both petrol (1.2-litre or 1.4-litre units) and the 1.3-litre diesel as well.
Also read: Maruti YBA Compact SUV spotted
Suzuki Ignis Micro SUV
Showcased first as the iM-4 Concept, the Ignis is going to rival vehicles like the Mahindra KUV100. To be positioned below the YBA (codename), the Ignis benefits from a muscular design but will not be off-road friendly.
A recent report by Autocar India says that the vehicle could debut at the 2016 Auto Expo.
Said to be under development on the same platform as the Baleno, the next-generation Swift is going to be an interesting product. Not only because of its usual traits but because with Baleno having snatched its usual position in the market, the new Swift will have to be way better.
Engine options are unlikely to change, but with the new platform, the weight will certainly go down.
MSIL’s experience at selling premium cars (much before the concept of NEXA arrived) isn’t glorious. But the market has surely opened up and there’s a better chance of selling products that aren’t just inexpensive or cheap to run.
The new Vitara will be positioned atop the S-Cross, is available with 1.6-litre engines (petrol and diesel) in markets like the UK. Both manual and automatic gearboxes are available, and so is an optional AWD system.
The Swift Sport might have not come to India, but the Baleno can certainly get a sporty avatar. Maruti is currently testing Suzuki’s new BoosterJet turbocharged petrol engine, which makes 110 hp and 170 Nm. But keep in mind that the Baleno is very light, so to have a similar performance as one of hot hatches, it doesn’t have a very powerful engine.
An out and out Baleno Sport can’t be ruled out yet, but it’s too soon to say, considering both the model isn’t out yet, and the segment is still growing in the country.