Expected to launch in early 2022, the new Maruti Suzuki SUV will be a NEXA product
Maruti Suzuki plans a substantial expansion strategy for its NEXA portfolio. At present, there are five Maruti Suzuki NEXA products: Ignis, Baleno, Ciaz, XL6 and S-Cross. The flagship product, S-Cross will be launched soon in BS6 petrol avatar after a considerable delay from its debut at Auto Expo 2020, held in early February.
Maruti Suzuki has opted a petrol-only business strategy (alongside petrol mild hybrids, CNG, etc.) for BS6 era. Products such as the Vitara Brezza and S-Cross, which were previously available only in BS4 diesel format, come solely with a K15B petrol mill. The company does not see potential in diesel models anymore, especially in sub-four-metre products.
Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) introduced its NEXA portfolio back in July 2015 as a premium alternative to their regular outlets (now named ARENA). Presently, there are over 370 NEXA outlets spread across 200+ cities. As part of its expansion programme, two new products (an SUV and MPV) will be added to the NEXA range in a few years’ time. Both of them will borrow its internals from existing Toyota products. Let us take a look at the possibilities of the former:
Maruti Suzuki’s New SUV
Sources suggest that Maruti Suzuki’s new SUV will be based on the Toyota Raize’s DNGA (Daihatsu New Global Architecture) platform, to play in the segment dominated by the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos. It is essentially a ‘compact crossover’ rather than a proper SUV – something like the existing S-Cross. However, it would be marketed as an SUV to go with the trend of calling everything with decent ground clearance and extra plastic cladding so. The new Maruti Suzuki SUV is expected to launch in early 2022.
Once launched, this new and more advanced SUV from Maruti is likely to replace the S-Cross in India. Compared to the competition, the S-Cross is an old product. The platform has not been updated since 2013, which is when the 2nd gen was launched. It was last given a facelift in 2017. As of now, there are no plans to update this platform to 3rd gen.
Meanwhile, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (or Toyota India) is readying the Urban Cruiser; a badge-engineered Vitara Brezza. It follows the Glanza hatchback (rebadged Baleno) under the alliance between Maruti Suzuki and Toyota India. Since the current-gen Toyota Raize a.k.a. Daihatsu Rocky is a subcompact crossover (or “compact SUV” in India terms), one can expect the upcoming Creta-rival from Maruti Suzuki to be slightly bigger in dimensions.
The Japanese-spec Toyota Raize is powered by a 1.0-litre turbo petrol three-cylinder engine. It churns out about 97bhp @ 6,000rpm and 140Nm @ 2,400-4,000rpm while mated to a CVT. At this point, it remains uncertain whether this would the same power plant coming to the Indian market. Furthermore, these figures are considerably low in comparison with the Creta and Seltos’ output.
Considering that Maruti will be pitching this new SUV against the likes of Creta and Seltos, it will be powered by a more powerful petrol engine – most likely a turbo variant of their 1.5 liter petrol naturally aspirated motor which currently powers their cars. Expect this engine to deliver power in the range of 150 PS.
This new Maruti SUV will also be loaded with all the latest features from internet connectivity to voice commands, etc. It will also have panoramic sunroof, leather seats, automatic AC, air filter, and multiple safety features.