Maruti Suzuki is all set to introduce a brand new, 1.5 litre K-Series engine with a mild hybrid system on the upcoming Ciaz Facelift. This engine, which was first seen in the all-new 2018 Ertiga MPV launched in Indonesia recently, displaces 1.5 litres and produces 106 PS-138 Nm. Variable valve timing is standard on this engine, which also gets a mild hybrid system. The mild hybrid system assists the engine during acceleration, thereby reducing fuel consumption and lowering tail pipe emissions. Toyota, which recently tied up with Suzuki for badge engineered cars, is said to be planning this engine for its next-generation Corolla Altis sedan.
However, the Corolla Altis with the new Suzuki 1.5 litre engine, is likely to get a full hybrid system that supports and supplements the petrol engine rather than the mild-hybrid system the likes of the Ciaz and Ertiga will use. This will allow the new Corolla Altis to be quite powerful despite using a smaller engine than the current model, which uses a 1.8 litre petrol engine that produces 138 Bhp-171 Nm. In other words, the hybrid system is meant to make up for the smaller engine on the next-generation Corolla Altis. The all-new Corolla Altis Hybrid is expected to be cleaner, and more fuel efficient than the outgoing model.
Toyota will also lend the Corolla Altis Hybrid to Maruti, which will sell it as a premium sedan through the upmarket, NEXA range of dealerships. Maruti Suzuki will badge engineer the next-generation Corolla Altis Hybrid, giving it a major stylistic change at the front and rear. Apart from the design changes, the car will also get Maruti Suzuki badging. However, Toyota is likely to use its factory in Bangalore to manufacture even the Maruti-badged Corolla Altis Hybrid. This is to make sure that Toyota runs its factory at full steam, using up unused capacity for the manufacturing of badge-engineered cars. The next-gen Corolla Altis Hybrid is likely to use Maruti badging from 2020, a year after its introduction in India with Toyota badges.