Maruti Suzuki has just pulled the wraps off the Swift Hybrid hatchback, a car whose claimed mileage of 32 Kmpl will impress all. Showcased at the 2020 Indian Auto Expo, the Swift Hybrid is meant to showcase Maruti Suzuki’s capabilities in the hybrid car space.
This car was also shown at the Indonesia International Motor Show, which happened in August 2018. The Swift Hybrid is powered by a 1.2 liter petrol engine and a 10 KW electric motor. Both motors power the front wheels of the car. The petrol engine is a 1,242 cc-4 cylinder naturally aspirated unit with 90 Bhp-18 Nm outputs, while the electric motor makes 17 Bhp of peak power and 30 Nm of peak torque.
While the Swift Hybrid will run predominantly on petrol power, the great mileage that it has to offer mainly has to do with the fact that the electric motor assists the petrol engine, thereby taking load off it. The electric motor is also capable of powering the Swift Hybrid in stop-go traffic, and at low speeds. The car can also run solely on electric power for a few kilometers. The car is a parallel hybrid, and the hybrid powertrain is capable of the following functions: idle stop- start, torque assist, regenerative braking and EV running as a combination.
Since Maruti Suzuki has discontinued the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbocharged diesel engine, the need for a more fuel efficient alternative arises. That alternative is the petrol-hybrid powertrain, which will offer the smoothness and low emissions of a petrol engine while also delivering the high mileage that diesel engines are known for.
This combination could be introduced in the Swift in the coming months, and if the market warms up to it, expect a slew of smaller Maruti Suzuki cars to take the petrol-hybrid route. The Swift Hybrid is also a very convenient car to drive, with a 5 speed automated manual transmission being offered as standard. It weighs 960 kilograms thanks to its lightweight HEARTECT platform.
Other dimensions of the Swift Hybrid are similar to those of the regular petrol and diesel versions of the car, and the only distinguishing feature of the former is the ‘hybrid’ badge pasted on the hatch lid. While the car looks production ready, Maruti Suzuki is yet to give us a clear indication about when the Swift Hybrid will be put into production for the Indian market. Given the fact that the Swift Diesel is no longer available, the hybrid version of the hatchback may be just around the corner. Extensive localization will be in order to keep the price down to acceptable levels for the mass market.