Maruti Suzuki and Toyota could introduce this new 140V strong hybrid technology in the upcoming C-segment compact SUVs
Electrification of existing powertrains is held as a key for future internal combustion engines. Hybrid powertrains will help meet stricter emission norms in future and will also help enhance fuel efficiency. Suzuki being a global brand is regarded as the flag bearer for new generation hybrid powertrains in the global automotive industry.
The company has been using different versions of its mild-hybrid systems– 12V and 48V for quite some time now but now it has taken a big leap forward in the direction of electrified powertrain. The Japanese auto giant has revealed its strong hybrid system which will make its debut on the UK-spec Vitara.
Suzuki New Strong Hybrid system
The powertrain in discussion is regarded as an evolution of Suzuki’s current mild-hybrid technology. It utilises the same 1.5-litre K15C naturally aspirated petrol engine which works in tandem with an electric motor. This electric motor derives its power from a 140V lithium-ion battery pack. The IC engine pushes out 105 PS of power and 138 Nm of peak torque whereas output of the electric motor is rated at 33 PS and 60 Nm.
Electrical and electronic components of the car like lights, climate control system, etc. will be powered by 12V lithium-ion and 12V lead-acid batteries. This new hybrid technology has currently been offered with only a 6-speed AMT gearbox in the UK-spec Vitara. It is soon likely to feature in other powertrains in the near future.
Benefits of strong hybrid system
Electric elements of this new strong hybrid powertrain are responsible for offering usual functionalities like engine idle start / stop and additional torque during acceleration. Apart from this, the full hybrid system will also be able to run the can on an electric motor alone for short distances at low speeds (in Eco mode) with only a little bit of throttle input, or while reversing.
However, on most occasions it will act as an assisting arm to the internal combustion engine, therefore, reducing overall emissions and improving fuel economy. Fuel efficiency figure for the front-wheel-drive UK-spec Vitara offered with this new hybrid powertrain is rated at 22.5 kmpl. This efficiency number has been quoted as per the WLTP (World Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure).
Will it come to India?
When tested in India, this powertrain should return a significantly higher figure as per the Indian norms by ARAI. Suzuki’s local arm in India- Maruti, could introduce this hybrid technology in the country in the near future. In fact, this powertrain could make its debut in the upcoming C-segment SUV jointly developed by Maruti and Toyota.
Until now, it was believed that both iterations of the SUV with internal code names YFG and D22 from Maruti and Toyota respectively will be offered with a strong hybrid system developed by the latter. However, it might be the case where both brands equip their respective models with their own hybrid technology. More details will be revealed closer to launch, which is expected later this year.