Suzuki sells a mild hybrid version of the 3rd generation Swift in international markets. The Swift Mild Hybrid version is called the RS. Pictures of uncamouflaged Swift RS hatchbacks have been doing the rounds on many car websites in India. However, the car in picture is not likely to be launched in India. Here’s why.
First of all, the Swift RS seen in these pictures is from Sri Lanka. It has been imported to the Island nation by a Sri Lankan distributor called Indra Traders. So, it has no real connection to the Indian market. Secondly, the Swift RS that is sold in Japan, and that has been imported for the Sri Lankan market features the K12C petrol engine – different from the K-Series petrol engine that Maruti uses on a lot of its cars sold in India.
The K12C petrol engine displaces 1,242cc, which means that it will not be used in the 3rd generation Swift that Maruti sells in India. In India, Maruti uses a 1,198cc version of the K-Series engine to gain excise duty benefits. Moreover, hybrid cars in India are being taxed at 43 % under the GST regime. However, small petrol cars with engines displacing less than 1.2 liters and with lengths of under 4 meters are taxed at only 29 %.
If Maruti brings the Swift RS Hybrid, it will have to pay 43 %, making the petrol hybrid car as expensive as the diesel. Also, the Swift RS features a mild-hybrid system called the Suzuki Hybrid Vehicle System (SHVS). The SHVS on the Swift RS involves an electric motor assisting the petrol engine during acceleration, thus lowering fuel consumption and tail pipe emissions, but only to a small extent. As the Swift RS Petrol-Hybrid will not be more efficient than the diesel version, despite featuring a similar price tag, buyers are unlikely to opt for such a car. And this is why the Swift RS Petrol Hybrid is unlikely to be launched in India, at least for now.