We know that Maruti Suzuki and Toyota are working on a new SUV. According to ET Now’s sources, Maruti Suzuki and Toyota are developing the new SUV to have a 5-star NCAP crash test rating. The largest manufacturer of India is doing this because Tata Motors and Mahindra who are already well established in this segment have cars that have a 4 or 5-star rating. The new SUV will have connected car technology as well. We are expecting the new SUV to launch sometime in 2022 or 2023.
The rest of the vehicles will also offer connected car technology with their top-end variants. Maruti Suzuki is also working on improving the safety rating of their existing hatchbacks. This would increase the production cost of the vehicles because of which we can expect a hike in prices. Recently, Baleno and Swift were tested by Latin NCAP and both scored zero-rating in the crash test. The S-Presso also scored zero stars in the Global NCAP crash test.
The new SUV by Maruti and Toyota will be competing against the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Renault Duster, Nissan Kicks, Skoda Kushaq, MG Astor and Volkswagen Taigun. It is expected to measure around 4.3 metres in length and will be based on Toyota’s DNGA or Daihatsu New Global Architecture platform.
The underpinnings will be the same and Toyota will also be offering their version of the SUV. As of now, it is not known whether Toyota will offer a rebadged version or they will make changes to the exterior body panels of the SUV. This will help in sharing production costs. This is the same model that Hyundai and Kia follow with Creta and Seltos.
We do know that it will continue to come with a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder, naturally aspirated petrol engine that we have seen on many Maruti Suzuki vehicles. The engine produces a modest 104 bhp of max power and 138 Nm of peak torque. It is offered with a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 4-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. However, we are expecting that with the new SUV, Maruti Suzuki will finally be switching to a 6-speed manual gearbox and a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox.
It will also come with a Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki or SHVS. However, where SHVS is a mild-hybrid tech, the new SUV is expected to come with a strong hybrid powertrain. This will help in torque-assist at low speeds, idle engine start/stop and boost fuel efficiency. There is a possibility that Maruti Suzuki also offers a more powerful 1.4-litre BoosterJet petrol engine that is doing duty on Swift Sport. It produces 127 bhp of max power and 235 Nm of peak torque.
It is still not known if the SUV will be using a crossover design language like the current S-Cross or whether it will finally look like a SUV. If it is a SUV then it will be a mid-size SUV considering the proportions of the vehicle. The new SUV is expected to replace the ageing S-Cross in the line-up.