Maruti Suzuki 800 cc diesel powertrain unit to deliver an average of 30 kmpl
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India's largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki India Limited, is working on a small 2-cylinder 800cc diesel powertrain in allegiance with its parent company, Suzuki Motor Corp, Japan. This could be the company's smartest move in the small car segment which enjoys a 45 percent market share in India. The new powertrain has been codenamed E2 by the company and the parent company in Japan is spearheading the development. This unit will deliver 40 Hp and a whooping mileage of 25-30 kmpl. According to sources in the know of development, at present the testing and validation is going in Japan and if results turn out to be positive, the project will come to India within 6-12 months. Going by the estimates, MSIL will launch the car in the country by 2015.
The new power-sharing unit will serve duty on the next generation of A-Star or global Alto in most likelihood. According to sources, "The development is at a very initial stage. It is a ground up project, and a lot of effort is being put in. The engine has to deliver the required level of performance, needs to respond ably, deliver on the power as well as fuel efficiency. It will take at least a couple of years or may be more to be ready."
In 1980’s Maruti 800 petrol model revolutionised the Indian Automotive industry and if the company can break-even the demand and supply for the new 800cc diesel variant, history will repeat itself.
During the launching ceremony of Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Managing Director, S. Nakanishi, said, "It's my dream to see a smaller diesel engine." He further added, "The R&D is working on many projects. Electric vehicle, hybrid electric vehicle... that is their job. I don't deny it... they should do it. But the question is when it would be available? And for that we don't have a clear answer right now."
According to the experts, to turn a 4-cylinder powertrain to 3- or even 2- cylinder unit and deliver the desired power, performance and fuel efficiency is tough. However, they feel that though it may be possible with the advancement in technology, what is more difficult is to be able to provide the same at an affordable cost.
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