Upon its arrival, Maruti Dzire CNG will compete against the CNG variant of Hyundai Aura
Maruti Suzuki is looking to strengthen its CNG lineup by adding the option of factory-fitted CNG kits on multiple models. The Indo-Japanese carmaker currently offers six CNG-powered models in its passenger vehicle lineup including WagonR, Celerio, Ertiga, S-Presso and others.
The company will soon add Dzire to this list as the subcompact sedan was recently spotted testing. The undisguised test mule was wearing a silver paint job and carried an emission testing kit. Rear suspension unit is seen pressed as well.
Maruti expanding CNG lineup
The company is adding more CNG models in its lineup to make up for the loss of diesel powertrains which were discontinued when BS6 emission norms kicked in last year in April. Prior to the adoption of BS6 emission standard, Dzire was offered with the tried and tested 1.3-litre DDiS Multijet oil burner which was sourced from Fiat. This unit puts out 89 bhp and 200 Nm of peak torque. This motor was replaced by a 1.2-litre Dualjet mild-hybrid petrol unit which churns out 89 bhp and 113 Nm of torque.
While CNG powertrains do not provide the punch of a diesel or a petrol unit for that matter, they do offer better fuel economy than their gasoline counterparts at least. With an exorbitant rise in fuel prices, car makers believe alternative fuel is the best way forward.
Hence, many car makers are planning to introduce new CNG variants. Maruti too has plans to expand its S-CNG lineup. Last year, Maruti sold 1,58,000 CNG cars in India against 1,06,000 units in 2019. This is despite the auto industry witnessing a severe slump in sales last year due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The country’s largest carmaker has plans to manufacture around two and a half lakh CNG vehicles this fiscal. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising if Dzire’s hatchback sibling Swift also received a CNG version in the near future.
Maruti’s S-CNG cars are fitted with Dual Interdependent ECUs, a change-over switch with auto-mode for instant switching between the fuels and a micro switch so that the engine doesn’t turn on during CNG refilling.
If and when launched, Dzire CNG will take on its segment rival Hyundai Aura CNG. Reportedly, Tata Motors is also planning to launch a CNG version of its subcompact sedan Tigor. The CNG option on Dzire is likely to be offered in the mid-spec VXi variant onwards.