India’s growing intimacy with SUVs clearly shows on sales charts. Manufacturers are responding to the change by bringing in new SUVs. Maruti, being the market leader was a little late to the flourishing compact SUV segment. Now that the Vitara Brezza is a mega hit, the automaker is planning to bring in an all-new SUV.
Why a new SUV?
The Vitara Brezza is doing around 10,000 units per month. Maruti is now eyeing the higher D-segment which is not as popular as the compact SUV segment but that’s expected to gain a lot of traction in the coming years as current compact-SUV owners will eventually upgrade to bigger vehicles. Maruti says that it is working on a wide range of new SUVs across various price bands.
According to a report, Maruti is planning to launch a rival to Mahindra XUV 500, the best seller in the D-Segment and newly launched Tata Hexa. Since a long time, there has been a speculation that Maruti will re-launch the Grand Vitara in India. This report now confirms its arrival.
Vitara Brezza’s bigger sibling?
Maruti Grand Vitara was discontinued from the Indian market due to the extremely poor response from the market. Now that the market has matured, we may see the SUV making a comeback in its all-new avatar. The Vitara in its current form looks very different from the generation that was sold in the Indian market. The new SUV will get the same ‘Generation C’ underpinnings that also forms the base of Vitara Brezza.
The Vitara is a full-size SUV that will be positioned above S-Cross in the market. Earlier, Maruti sold the Grand Vitara with an only petrol engine. The new Vitara will offer the more favourable diesel engine too. Maruti has recently signed a contract with Fiat for the supply for 2.0-litre diesel engines. The new Vitara is likely to be powered by the new 2.0-litre Multijet diesel engine from Fiat.
The lower variants may also be powered by the 1.6-litre diesel engine that comes with the S-Cross. Maruti may also offer the 1.6-litre petrol engine with the Vitara. Features-wise, the Indian version will be quite different from the European version. The five-seater SUV in Europe comes loaded with 7-airbags, keyless entry, panoramic sunroof, adaptive sunroof and even radar-based braking system. Few of these features will make into the Indian version of the vehicle.
Any more SUVs?
Apart from the full-size Vitara, Maruti is also working on a slew of new SUVs. Their other products include SUV-styled hatchback codenamed as Y1K. The Y1K will be launched in 2019 to take on the Renault Kwid. Maruti is also looking to put a bridge between its current models and there is a possibility that the company will launch a smaller SUV positioned below Vitara Brezza in the future.
How much time will it take?
Maruti says that the XUV500 and Hexa rivalling SUV will be made on Generation C platform. The current platform of Suzuki Vitara is shared by the S-Cross and Ciaz, which means the next generation of the vehicle has its base set. According to the report, Maruti will launch the new SUV in 2020. The smaller Kwid-rivaling vehicle will be launched in 2019.