Next year, Toyota will launch a sub-4 meter SUV in India, based on the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. This follows the partnership that Suzuki and Toyota signed earlier this year, which will give both automakers the right to badge engineer each others’ cars and sell them on the Indian market. Meanwhile, here is a render from SRK of IAB that shows what the Toyota-badged Vitara Brezza will look like.
As the render shows, the Toyota-badged Vitara Brezza will get a completely new front end styling. We expect styling at the rear to also change significantly. However, the overall profile, or top-hat of the compact SUV will be unchanged. Even after getting branded a Toyota, the Vitara Brezza is likely to retain the mechanicals that it features as a Maruti Suzuki model. This is because badge engineering means changing only the looks of the vehicle, and not mechanicals.
The Vitara Brezza sold by Toyota is expected to use the newly developed Suzuki 1.5 litre turbocharged diesel engine, which is likely to be introduced on the compact SUV early next year. This engine will replace the current 1.3 litre Fiat Multijet turbodiesel unit.
The new engine is expected to be slightly more powerful than the outgoing Fiat diesel, and will first be introduced in the facelifted Maruti Ciaz that will be launched later this year. Expect a manual gearbox to be standard with the new engine, which will drive the front wheels.
Toyota is expected to price its badge-engineered Vitara Brezza higher than what Maruti sells the compact SUV in India. This is to ensure that both the SUVs have enough differentiation not only in terms of styling but also in terms of pricing. However, the Toyota badged Vitara Brezza will continue to be a sub-4 meter offering, challenging the likes of the Ford EcoSport and the Tata Nexon. Will Toyota also get Suzuki to add a petrol engine to the Vitara Brezza? Time will tell.