The Toyota Innova CNG petrol is expected to be introduced in the third quarter of 2020
The BS6 emission standards have changed a lot for diesel cars in India. While the new standards warrant significant improvement in emission performance of all types of IC engines, the limits imposed on diesel motors are relatively much more stringent. Hence, a BS6-compliant diesel engine is quite a bit more expensive than its BS4 counterpart as it usually features re-engineering and additional devices.
The inflation in price of a BS6-ready diesel engine is too much for the automakers to absorb, and obviously, too much for the end customers as well. This is exactly why Tata Motors decided to discontinue diesel variants of its small cars and Maruti Suzuki ditched diesel variants of all its products.
While petrol powered variants are witnessing increased acceptance in the BS6 era, some customers still prefer diesel variants over petrol, thanks to the higher torque and lower running cost. Some manufacturers attempt to address the running cost issue by resorting to CNG option which offers comparable fuel efficiency without the price burden of a diesel engine. Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) is one of them.
The Japanese automaker is currently working on an Innova CNG variant based on the 2.7-liter petrol engine. A prototype of Toyota Innova CNG petrol 2.7 G variant has been spied testing once again, suggesting that it will be introduced in the coming months. The latest spy shots are credit to automotive enthusiast Mayur.
Details of the CNG variant are scarce but the bi-fuel version of the engine is expected to witness a considerable drop in its output figures while running on CNG. In its current avatar, the 2.7-liter four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine develops 166 hp and 245 Nm of torque. It is available with a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.
The Innova is also available with a BS6-spec 2.4-liter diesel engine with 150 hp and 350 Nm of torque on tap. The difference between the petrol and diesel engine options for the same trim level is nearly INR 2 lakh. TKM aims to position the CNG variant somewhere in the middle of this gap. The bi-fuel version would be aiming to lure customers who find the diesel variants too expensive.
The CNG fuel option in this price segment is unusual in the Indian market. Other OEMs would be closely observing the customer response to the Toyota Innova CNG. We may see more manufactures offering CNG variants of their products as alternative to diesel versions.