Maruti has increased focus on the SUV segment and has plans to launch multiple new SUVs in coming years
Maruti will be ramping its product portfolio with a plethora of new launches. It started with the introduction of the new-gen Celerio at the end of last year and continued with the launch of the new Baleno and updated WagonR.
There are more cars planned for launch later this year from Maruti. A significant chunk of the new range of products to be offered by Maruti Suzuki will belong to the SUV/crossover body style.
Since the segment has been in huge demand in the last few years, Maruti has decided to strengthen its SUV portfolio. Among many other models slated for launch in the coming few months- one of the most important vehicles to be introduced by the company is a Baleno-based crossover.
2023 Maruti Baleno SUV Coupe Render
Internally codenamed YTB, this crossover was initially supposed to be launched sometime in 2022. However, due to the pandemic, launch plans got delayed. Maruti is expected to launch the Baleno SUV next year in 2023. This will make it the second UV offering by the Indo-Japanese carmaker in the sub-4 metre segment after Brezza which is also set for a generation upgrade in the next couple of months.
However, the Baleno-based crossover is expected to undercut prices for the new Brezza by some margin. The latter will also dish out the ‘Vitara’ branding from its name tag. Unlike Brezza which gets a boxy and a more conventional SUV-like silhouette with a flat roofline, YTB will be a Coupe-style crossover with its roofline sharply sloping towards the rear.
Same platform, different design
The upcoming crossover will be based on the same Heartect platform as Baleno, which will help the manufacturer save on development costs. This would further help in reducing the overall cost of the car. The Coupe-style SUV, however, will wear a slightly different top hat in comparison to the premium hatchback in order to lend it exclusivity. The same has been imagined via digital renders created by Pratyush Rout.
At the launch of new Baleno last week, Maruti said that they and their partners have invested over Rs 1,100 crores on the 2022 Baleno. Not only is the new Baleno more feature rich, it is also structurally more stronger. It is likely that Maruti has made the structural changes to Baleno hatchback, keeping in mind the upcoming Baleno SUV coupe.
Just like the hatch, Baleno-based crossover will be retailed through the carmaker’s premium Nexa chain of dealerships. Upon launch, the upcoming crossover SUV could rival existing sub 4m SUVs like Nexon, Venue, Sonet, XUV300, Kiger and Magnite.
Expected Features, Powertrain Specs
The YTB crossover is likely to be loaded with the same set of equipment as the new and heavily updated Baleno. This should include creature comforts such as a Head-Up Display, a 360-degree camera, a Smartplay touchscreen infotainment system, connected car tech via Suzuki telematics, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers and more. Safety tech on offer will include features like six airbags, hill assist, ESP (electronic stability programme), etc.
Powering the upcoming crossover will be the same 1.2-litre K12N naturally aspirated petrol motor that features in Baleno. This engine kicks out 89 bhp and 113 Nm of peak torque. Transmission options will include a 5-speed manual gearbox and a 5-speed AMT.