Maruti Suzuki is one company that always wants to stay ahead by introducing new models. After Ciaz, the company is rumoured to launch a hybrid version of their popular Swift hatchback. This upcoming variant named, Maruti Swift Range Extender was first displayed at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo. Various sources say that, this upcoming variant might be developed only for Government of India for a pilot project, and not for the public. Then again, there are also rumors stating that the company will be launching it for commercial purpose as well. Nothing has been confirmed as of now, and we will have to wait for the official announcement from the automaker itself. From whatever information we can garner through our sources we're here to present to you the good and the not so good facts, so that you can decide for yourself whether this model can feature on your wishlist.
1. Expected to come with an audio system featuring a small information display screen. This unit may support a few connectivity options as well.
1. It is said to have a price tag that may be a tad more than the regular version.
Stand Out Features
1. The expected fuel economy (combined) of 48.2 Kmpl would remain the key highlight of this trim.
Christened as “Range Extender”, this hatchback was first showcased in 2014, and later displayed at the 2015 International Green Mobility Expo as well. MSIL has come up with this version post the Indian Government has introduced the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles) scheme that promotes eco-friendly vehicles. This machine is said to incorporate a 658cc petrol engine that will be paired with an electric motor. According to the reports, this plug-in hybrid model can be driven in three different modes, which are – series hybrid, parallel hybrid and all electric. Apart from the change in its technical specifications, it might mostly be offered with the same features that are present in the regular version. In terms of safety, we can expect it to have dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, child locks for rear doors and security alarm system as well. Inside the cabin, it is likely to get an updated infotainment system featuring a display screen. Besides these, it may have a power steering, cup holders, air conditioning unit and some storage spaces as well. This latest variant may come with a price tag ranging between Rs. 7 to Rs. 8 lakhs.
Looking at several images that have surfaced online, we can easily say that its design, structure and looks, are all same except for the body decals, which are present in all the profiles. At front, it might have the same perforated radiator grille with company's insignia positioned in the center. Looks like the large headlight cluster surrounding the grille, might feature halogen lamps along with turn indicators. We can expect a couple of fog lamps as well fitted to the body colored bumper. In the images, we can notice side turn blinkers integrated to the stylish door mirrors, and it might retain the same black finishing to its B-pillars. Also, its pronounced wheel arches may come fitted with an elegant set of alloy wheels, probably of 15 inches. In the rear, the design of its taillight cluster resembles with that of the regular model. The integrated spoiler above the windscreen flaunts a sporty appeal, and the trendy boot lid further adds to its appearance with its curves. Besides the attractive graphics, we can also see the name – Range Extender on its bonnet, rear doors and on the boot lid.
According to some sources, this hybrid vehicle might get a few updates to its interiors. It may be offered with a small information display screen that may update you with the vehicle's status. Most probably, fabric covers may be wrapped to its seats, which might have folding function in the second row. As for the driver's seat, we can expect the height adjustment facility. The equipments on the dashboard will be an electric power steering column with tilt adjustment function, instrument cluster with various notifications and a center console with music system and an air conditioning unit. In addition to these, this variant might also be offered with power operated windows, sun visors, day and night inside rear view mirror, cup holders and other such useful elements.
Maruti Swift Range Extender is being rumored to have a three cylinder, 658cc petrol drive train under its hood. This mill will come paired with an electric motor as well, which is said to be powered by a 5kwh lithium ion battery. It is expected to have a single-speed automatic transmission gearbox and the combination of both results in the hatch churning out around 73bhp maximum power. The electric driving range of the vehicle is speculated to be around 25.5 kms, whereas the combined fuel economy may go up to 48.2 kmpl. As per reports, the vehicle can be fully recharged through the 200 volt electric socket in only around 1.5 hours. On the other hand, this hybrid version is anticipated to come in three drive modes. In the series mode, the drive train will charge the electric motor and in the parallel mode, the petrol mill and electric motor both will power the wheels. Meanwhile, only the electric power is said to be utilized in the all electric mode.
Ride & Handling
The rack and pinion based electric power steering is anticipated in this version too, which aids in better handling of the vehicle. In terms of suspension, it might get a McPherson strut on the front axle and a torsion beam on the rear one. As for the braking, it is speculated to have disc brakes on all its four wheels unlike the regular version, which is offered with rear drum brakes. Besides these, we are also expecting it to come with assistance systems such as the anti lock braking and electronic brake force distribution as well.
This variant might carry most of the security elements that are presently available in the regular model. We can expect it to come with reverse parking sensors, rear door child proof locks, head restraints and dual horn. In addition to these, the automaker may also equip it with the Intelligent Computerized Anti-theft System (iCATS), side door impact beams, three point seat belts as well as dual front airbags that will ensure passenger protection.
This yet to be launched hybrid variant, does look promising with new exterior and interesting aspects inside. Compared to the regular version, its price tag may be a bit high, but it will definitely be an affordable option if, we match its price with other electric vehicles in the market like Toyota Camry and Prius, whose cost goes over Rs. 30 lakh. Apart from this, the impressive fuel economy figures and the “eco-friendly” tag might also play a part in attracting the masses.