January 5, 2010: India's leading car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki India Limited unveiled an array of interesting concepts at Auto Expo 2010 here today. The car maker, known for its small, fuel-efficient and reliable cars has chosen this year's Auto Expo to showcase its R&D strength and capabilities to diversify further in passenger vehicles and eco-friendly future technologies. The show-stoppers include: Concept car Maruti RIII which is a next generation compact Multi Purpose Vehicle (MPV), designed in-house by a team of young and enthusiastic Maruti Suzuki engineers. Maruti SX4 Hybrid, a full parallel Hybrid car designed by Maruti Suzuki engineers, showcasing the capability to design and develop next generation green technologies for the country, Maruti Kizashi, a super luxury car that marks the entry of parent Suzuki Motor Corporation in the premium segment and Maruti SX4 Hatchback which is a hatchback version of its popular sedan SX4 is being showcased for the first time. The Maruti SX4 hatchback is an international best seller and is one of the hot-selling hatchbacks in European markets.
Maruti SX4 hatchback price in India is expected to remain around Rs 7 lakh and the Maruti SX4 hatchback launch in India is scheduled towards 2011 end.
Maruti SX4 Hatchback is a five-door hatchback and is currently available in Europe besides other countries. The hatchback is a C+ segment car and is elegant and dynamic both in looking and performance and has both the strains of a sporty compact and a sport utility vehicle (SUV). The car also features a 4x4 capability in European countries. It derives its looks from Maruti SX4 sedan but has also an off roader look.
The Maruti SX4 Hatchback was developed with Fiat that has fitted its diesel engine in the car. Maruti SX4 is also called Fiat Sedici in European countries. In fact Maruti is selling the car with the name tag of SX4 hatch while Fiat sells it in the name of Fiat Sedici. Suzuki and Fiat are selling the hatch in the ratio of 2/3, 1/3. The SX4 series of cars came in 2006 in the form of five-door hatch and later in 2007 came the sedan version. The SX4 hatch was given a facelift in 2010 giving it new interiors and a more powerful petrol engine. The sedan version of the SX4 got a diesel engine on February 17, 2011. In 2008, Suzuki unveiled another variant of the SX4, the SX4-FCV which was concept car that uses hydrogen fuel cell.
Though Maruti India has not revealed any Maruti SX4 hatchback specifications yet but it is expected that it will bring the same European version of the SX4 hatchback to India. The car will be available in both petrol and diesel variants. A Fiat engine is expected to power the car which is a votary of Suzuki’s philosophy of pleasure to drive, use, and own. Due to its tall structure compared to Maruti Swift and Maruti SX4 sedan, the Maruti SX4 Hatchback has enough room inside. Besides, it is agile and scores a century in handling.
Among the SX4 Hatch models available in European markets, the greenest one is 1.6 DDiS SZ4 while the cheapest one is 1.6 VVT SZ3 2WD. The top range of SX4 hatch is the 2.0 DDiS SZ5.
The exterior of the Maruti SX4 hatchback are closer to SUVs coupled with the elegance of passenger cars. Despite being compact in size, it has a flowing form which is fully aerodynamic and elegant. Besides the SX4 exteriors are also sporty with a low rising waistline and large triangular windows. The overfenders and wide tracks on the SX4 Hatch enhance the stable look of the car. It is more like a fusion of SUV shape and a passenger car.
The Maruti SX4 has an overall length of 4,490 mm and a width of 1735 mm and a height of 1560 mm. The car weighs around 1200kgs.
The Maruti SX4 Hatchback interiors are dominated by “X-over” design. The curves and forms inside are soothing and smooth and welcome the occupants. The material and fabrics inside further enhance the quality look and feel inside. The motif inside is circular and there is a flowing centre panel that gives a hint of the dynamic performance and styling of the car.
The cars available in Europe have two tone interiors while the SX4 hatch planned for India is expected to have single colored interiors. However, in the premium models, the two tone interiors could continue. The two tone interiors are combination with black mixed with metallic colors.
The interiors give preference to comfort and ergonomics than to styling and visible delight. The audio system, climate control dials, and other amenities are housed on the central panel mixing function and form perfectly. Higher variants of the Maruti SX4 hatchback have nine-speakers inside giving the perfect audio experience.
There is enough room inside to seat five people comfortably and there is plenty of legroom and headroom for both the front and rear passengers. However, in order to step up comfort, space has been compromised. The seats seem to offer the right seating pattern for both the driver and the passengers that make the car comfortable even for long drives.
There are large door openings to ease entry and exit from the car. Plus the seat height has been kept ideal with rear seats a little bit at height. The rear seats can be folded to enable larger boot space of 625 litres with seats folded. Otherwise it is 270 litres.
With 120PS and 135 PS power engines both the petrol and diesel SX4 zooms to 100 kmph quite easily. Where the petrol SX4 hatch touches 0-100kmph in 10.7 seconds, the diesel takes 0-100 kmph speed in 11.8 seconds. The 5-speed manual SX4 has a top speed of 115 kmph while the Automatic transmission version has a top speed of 109 Kmph. On the other hand the diesel version has 112 kmph top speed.
With a 1586cc, four cylinder engine inside, the petrol SX4 hatch is expected to deliver Mileage of 10 kmpl while the 1,956 cc diesel powered engine delivers around 10 kmpl average.
The Maruti SX4 hatchback will be quite similarly powered as is the SX4 in European markets. There will be 1586cc and 1956 cc petrol and diesel engines respectively in the SX4. Where the petrol engine churns out 120 PS at 6000rpm it also produces a maximum torque of 150Nm at 4400rpm. The diesel motors on the other hand is more powerful and outputs 135 PS at 3500 rpm and a maximum torque of 320 Nm at 1500rpm. The petrol SX4 has multipoint injection while the diesel version has direct injection system. All the models are mated to a five speed transmission. In UK the 5-speed automatic and 4WD models are also available but in India it is expected that the five speed manual variants will come.
In terms of braking and handling it will be surprises by Maruti SX4 hatch. The European SX4 hatch has a tough suspension. At the front it is MacPherson struts and at the rear it is torsion beam suspension that helps ease the driving. The ventilated front discs and rear drum brakes ensure effective braking at the right moment.
The European version of the Suzuki SX4 has lots of handling and safety features that make the ride safe. In UK, anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) come as part of the standard equipment besides Suzuki also gives the choice to upgrade it to Electronic Stability Program. In addition to it the Maruti SX4 hatchback also has a safety reinforced body providing protection in the event of a collision. The front and rear crumble zone in SX4 Hatch absorbs the impact and thus the passengers remain safe. The SX4 hatch has also been designed to protect the pedestrians in the even of an impact.
Plenty of interior space, Low running costs, high end features in the standard equipment
Cheap plastics used inside, Small boot.
The increasing demand for alternative fuel options has encouraged Maruti Suzuki India to test the waters in developing CNG and hybrid cars. The leading car manufacturer of the country has already announced its plans to offer CNG variants in additional models. MSI, presently offers CNG models on five cars including Maruti SX4, Maruti Alto, Maruti Wagon R, Maruti Estillo and Maruti Eeco. Another surprise has been delivered by the auto major regarding their intention to take a dive into the hybrid cars.
The high inflation in the country has begun affecting the car industry as well. In tandem with the surging input costs, India’s leading car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India is reported to enforce a price hike in the diesel cars by Rs 10,000 effective yesterday. The company has hiked price of diesel variants of Maruti SX4, Maruti Swift and Maruti Swift Dzire, while Maruti Ritz price has gone up by Rs 2000.
Maruti Suzuki India exceeded the normal production levels for the Maruti Swift model on Wednesday and produced a total of 625 units of Marui Swift cars from Gurgaon and Manesar plant. Maruti India also said that it will look at beginning the production of hatchback Maruti A-Star and premium sedan Maruti SX4 from next week. But the stand-off still continues between the management and workers. It seems Haryana government is loosing a lot of its revenue due to the ongoing impasse between the management and workers at Maruti Manesar plant. That is why the much concerned government has intervened again into the matter in order to break the ice.