Toyota’s badge engineered Maruti Baleno & Brezza: Launch timelines revealed

Toyota has tied up with Suzuki to enter hard-to-crack affordable car segments of the Indian market. The Maruti Baleno premium hatchback and the Vitara Brezza sub-4 meter compact SUV will be the two cars that will be badge engineered by Toyota. Here are the launch timelines of both cars.

Toyota’s version of the Maruti Baleno will be launched between October 2019 and March 2020. The Vitara Brezza with the Toyota badge will be launched a year later, between October 2020 and March 2021. Both cars wearing the Toyota badge will meet Bharat Stage 6 emission norms.

Now, it’s a well known fact that the Maruti Baleno and Vitara Brezza use the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbocharged  diesel engine, which will not be made Bharat Stage 6 compliant. Instead, Maruti plans to replace the 1.3 Fiat  Multijet diesel engine with a 1.5 liter diesel motor developed in-house. this engine will be Bharat Stage 6 emission norms ready, and slightly more powerful than the 1.3 liter motor. Also, it’ll use a 6 speed manual gearbox instead of  the 5 speed unit found on the smaller motor.

Render courtesy IAB

What remains to be seen is whether Toyota will borrow the new 1.5 liter diesel engine for the Baleno and Brezza from Maruti or if the Japanese automaker will stick to its global policy of moving towards hybrid petrol engines for  smaller cars. The latter scenario seems likely considering the fact that adding diesel engines to the Toyota badged  Baleno and Brezza will make the cars a lot more expensive. Badge engineered cars are generally more expensive than the cars they’re based on.

We have seen this happen with the likes of the Nissan Terrano and Renault Scala. As Toyota is considered to be a more premium brand than Maruti Suzuki, the rebadged Baleno and Vitara Brezza are expected to be costlier than the versions sold by Maruti right from the outset. Adding a diesel engine – that too a Bharat stage 6 compliant one – will make these cars even more expensive. These reasons are likely to make Toyota take a turbocharged petrol or petrol-hybrid option on the badge-engineered Baleno and Brezza.

The 1.2 liter K-Series petrol engine will be made Bharat Stage 6 emission norms compliant by 2020. The Brezza is  likely to get a turbocharged petrol engine. Word doing the rumour mill refers to a 1.2 liter turbocharged petrol  engine, which is likely to be the K-Series motor along with a turbocharger. Transmission options for the Toyota  badged Baleno and Brezza remain unknown for now. The Toyota-badged Maruti cars are expected to get revised styling on the outside and improved equipment levels on the inside.