Snapshot – Over the next 12 months, India’s largest automaker, Maruti Suzuki, will enter five new segments in the passenger car space. Maruti’s aggressive push into new segments is to cement its position as the country’s numero uno carmaker in terms of volumes, and also establish firm footholds in exciting new market territories. The automaker has already tasted success by creating the AMT segment in India and is raring for more. Here’s the complete story on when, what and how Maruti Suzuki will enter half a dozen new categories.
Crossover Segment – S-Cross
The S-Cross crossover is being readied up for launch in India. The vehicle is likely to be priced and positioned in the same segment as the Renault Duster, also taking on the lower variants of the Mahindra XUV500. The S-Cross will ve powered by a 1.6 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engine. 1.3 liter turbo diesel and 1.6 liter naturally aspirated petrol motors may also be offered on this car. A manual transmission will drive the front wheels while automatic gearbox and all wheel drive options could make it to the higher variants. The S-Cross is the Maruti Suzuki’s first shot at the booming compact SUV market in India. A first half 2015 launch is envisaged for the S-Cross.
Budget Diesel Hatch – Celerio Diesel
The Celerio will get more frugal than ever before, with reports asserting that the car will deliver an ARAI certified mileage figure of 30 Kmpl, putting it right at the top of the fuel efficiency stakes in the country. To do this, the Celerio will use a 792cc, twin cylinder turbo diesel motor that will also power the upcoming Y9T pick up truck. The Celerio Diesel will be Maruti Suzuki’s least priced diesel hatchback. The engine that powers the Celerio Diesel could also make it into engine bays of other budget offerings in the automaker’s line up. In that sense, the new diesel hatch is a crucial vehicle for India’s largest automaker. The car looks launch ready, with the official launch likely to happen in a month’s time.
Premium Hatchback – YRA/iK-2
Suzuki showcased the iK-2 premium hatchback concept at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. This car’s production variant, with the code-name YRA, will be launched in India during this year’s festive season. The YRA will be a premium B+ segment hatchback, whose competitors include the likes of the Hyundai Elite i20 and the Volkswagen Polo GT twins. The hatchback will usher in turbo petrol power on a Maruti Suzuki car. The car will also pack in turbo diesel power, with the engine being a 1.3 liter-4 cylinder Fiat Multijet unit. Manual and automatic transmissions are likely to be served up on the front wheel driven, monocoque hatchback.
Fuel Efficiency and Convenience Centric Technology – AMT and Start-Stop on multiple cars
AMT and idle stop technologies will make it to the engine bays of multiple Maruti Suzuki cars, as the automaker’s ongoing effort to boost convenience and fuel efficiency. The likes of the WagonR tall-boy hatchback, the Ertiga MPV and the Ciaz sedan will benefit from idle-stop technology. Most new cars from Maruti Suzuki that are priced under 10 lakh rupees could also gain the AMT option. The AMT option, while delivering the convenience of an automatic transmission, is almost as fuel efficient as a manual gearbox. Adding an idle stop feature to a car equipped with AMT technology will make the vehicle in question more fuel efficient than equivalent manual gearbox equipped models.
Compact SUV – XA Alpha/YBA
Early next year, Maruti Suzuki will enter the sub-4 meter compact SUV space with the YBA codenamed vehicle. The YBA, previously known as the XA-Alpha, is expected to feature 1.2 liter, naturally aspirated petrol and 1.3 liter, turbocharged diesel engines. An AMT option could also be thrown in for good measure, while the 5 speed manual transmission will be standard fare. Maruti Suzuki’s new SUV is expected to sit bang in Ford EcoSport territory in terms of price and positioning. The YBA is a hotly anticipated, sub-4 meter compact SUV that could really set sales charts on fire. Watch out for this one.
Hybrid Hatch – Swift Hybrid
With the Indian government laying out subsidies for electric and hybrid cars, Maruti Suzuki is said to be readying up the Swift Hybrid for the car market here. With a fuel efficiency number close to the 50 Kmpl mark, the Swift Hybrid will even outdo the radical, BMW i8 hybrid sportscar in terms of sheer mileage. The car will be powered by a 660cc petrol motor, supplemented by a lithium ion battery powered electric motor. The Swift Hybrid is expected to be priced at least 2 lakh rupees higher than the equivalent diesel powered variant. A few changes on the interiors and exteriors will also make it to the Swift Hybrid.