Maruti Suzuki S-Cross was launched in a new avatar in the Indian market last year. The new S-Cross received a mild hybrid system with the 1.3-litre diesel engine. The new tech increased the fuel efficiency of the vehicle by a good margin and also made the vehicle quite popular in the market. The S-Cross is a global product and the next generation of the vehicle is currently under development. A report says that the next-generation S-Cross will get a plug-in hybrid variant.
The emission norms around the world are becoming stricter and to comply with the norms, manufacturers are choosing hybrid terrains. Suzuki is looking in the same direction for their future products. Dale Wyatt, Managing Director, Suzuki UK, said in an interview that the Japanese automaker will focus on the electrification of their products in the working years and will bring in the 12-volt mild-hybrid systems to the smaller cars. The bigger cars will get the 48-volt mild hybrid systems by 2020.
However, the next-generation S-Cross and the next-gen Vitara SUV will get a plug-in hybrid system. Suzuki has not put a date on the launch of the next-generation models but they are expected to be launched by 2020. These will be the first plug-in hybrid vehicles from the Japanese manufacturers.
With stricter emission norms, manufacturers are tilting towards phasing the diesel engines out. It is possible that the next-generation S-Cross and the Vitara may feature only petrol engines with a plug-in hybrid system for the extra power.
Suzuki is also developing a new 1.5-litre diesel engine that was expected to be launched with the new Ciaz but we may get to see it with the new Ertiga. The plug-in hybrid systems will exponentially increase the cost of the product and Suzuki may refrain from introducing such models in price-sensitive markets like India.
However, India will enforce BS-VI norms in 2020 and that may change a lot in the country. In a bid to fight pollution, the government is also expected to announce special benefits for clean cars like electric and hybrids and that may change the strategy of the car manufacturers in the growing market.