Auto Expo is the country’s biggest automotive exhibition and showcase event held every biennial February. It is a venue for everything latest (products and technology) for the Indian market and has witnessed the launch and reveal of many important products currently on sale in the country.
Maruti Suzuki is the largest car maker in India, and they have regularly used the Auto Expo to display their upcoming cars for the country. For example, Ertiga, Brezza, S-Presso, Ignis, and many more cars were first showcased as a concept at Auto Expo, and then were later launched in the Indian market.
Now, at the 15th edition of the Auto Expo, Maruti Suzuki is gearing up to showcase a new vehicle concept; the Futuro-E. This information has been leaked thanks to a patent filing document which confirms that Maruti has registered / trademarked a new car name and it is ‘Futuro-E’.
This name should ring a bell among auto enthusiasts. Back at Auto Expo 2018, Maruti Suzuki unveiled a mini-hatchback crossover concept; the Future-S. The car eventually evolved into the Maruti S-Presso. Let’s be honest — from the funky and modern design of the concept, we expected something better from the brand, but the S-Presso is grabbing enough sales to win an argument.
Since the name, ‘Futuro-E’ is remarkably similar to ‘Future-S’, one might imagine it to be an electric variant of the S-Presso since every new car with some form of electrification carries an ‘E’ tag; a stereotype that has been around for ages. However, this could be a reality to some extent as the country is seeing a heavy push towards electric mobility by brands as well as the Indian government.
Maruti Suzuki had already shared a bit about its plans to launch an EV for the Indian market sometime next year, but reports state it would be based on the Maruti WagonR. For the same reason, there is a high probability for the Futuro-E to be a raised crossover hatchback with an electric powertrain. Rumours say it will employ a 72V system with a 25kWh Li-ion battery pack, boasting of a range of about 130km on a full charge. This is loosely based on the specs of the EV based on the WagonR.
Coming to the Maruti S-Presso, the production version of the Future-S concept is aimed to be a strong rival to the likes of the Renault Kwid in the budget crossover-hatch or ‘SUV-ish hatchback’ segment. It is powered by a 998cc three-cylinder petrol engine that makes 68bhp and 90Nm of torque. This is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission as standard while AGS AMT variants are also on offer. The 1.0-litre power plant is the same unit found in the Alto K10, but updated to comply with the new BS6 emission norms, effective from April 2020.
The Indian automotive market has a growing interest in SUVs or anything that looks or feels like an SUV, and this is clearly reflected through the high sales figures of the Renault Kwid and Maruti S-Presso. The Kia Seltos and MG Hector are the latest examples on a higher budget.