Toyota is expected to launch a hatchback based on Maruti WagonR which will be battery-powered
Maruti Suzuki has been contemplating on bringing an electric vehicle to India for a very long time. The most likely possibility is an entry-level battery-powered car based on WagonR. However, since reports of the car’s development began, there has been no concrete evidence of an eventual launch.
The Indo-Japanese carmaker is still susceptible to the fact that EVs are still at a very nascent stage in the Indian automotive market and have not reached a stage where they could penetrate into a mass market. In fact, a few months ago, reports surfaced on the internet that Maruti has altogether scrapped the plans of launching an electric derivative of Wagon R.
Until a few days ago, there were no new developments regarding an electric version of the tallboy hatch when a test mule of the same appeared out of nowhere.
However, the most interesting attribute noticed about the prototype was that it was wearing a Toyota logo on its face and wheel caps. This could mean that Maruti Suzuki will likely share WagonR EV with its alliance partner in India. Another set of spy shots have surfaced on the internet giving us a peek into the electric hatch.
Like the previous spy video, this unit also resembled the regular petrol-driven WagonR with the same overall design. However, it comes with subtle variations to its exterior styling including new bumpers, a revised side profile, and a completely redesigned front face. The prototype receives all-LED lighting with a sharp-looking split headlamp design at the front.
Other exterior styling highlights include black claddings on front and rear bumpers, black pillars and a blacked-out front grille. Another interesting visual is the larger 15-inch alloy wheels which look similar to the ones seen in Maruti Ignis. The current petrol-powered WagonR rides on 14-inch steel rims with wheel caps. Rest of the car looks identical to its regular sibling.
Maruti Rebadged models as Toyota
If such a vehicle is indeed being planned to be launched as a Toyota, it does not make sense for Maruti to develop the car and not release it under its own brand name. Hence, it is expected to launch as a Toyota only after it has been launched under its home brand. Toyota has recently registered a new name – HYRYDER, likely to be pronounced as hi-rider. Could this Maruti WagonR Electric version’s rebadge variant be named Toyota Hyryder?
Currently, there is a lot of ambiguity regarding the development of this product and an official word from Maruti or Toyota will only clear the air. As of now, Toyota retails two models namely Glanza and Urban Cruiser which are rebadged Maruti models Baleno and Vitara Brezza respectively. The Japanese company will also launch a rebadged Maruti Ciaz under its own brand name Belta. There is also speculation of Toyota’s MPV which is said to be based on Ertiga.