Maruti Suzuki: Ertiga MPV, Coming Soon
India's largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. (MSIL), most popular for its small cars and hatchbacks, is set to launch a Multi Purpose Vehicle (MPV) by early 2012. This MPV will be one of the few models which the company plans on launching in the Indian market in the next few years. The upcoming 11th Auto Expo to be held in Delhi in January 2012 might be the stage for this anticipated launch.
At the previous edition of the Auto Expo, in 2010, MSIL showcased its MPV-concept R III (R3). At the time, it was well received and people could not wait to see the Maruti's MPV on the Indian roads. Almost two years later, Maruti Suzuki is all set to launch the actual model of the car. According to reports, R3 was just the codename of the project and the concept vehicle, while the actual model waiting to be launched in India is called 'Ertiga'.
Ertiga MPV is designed keeping in mind the requirements of big Indian families, which generally look for a vehicle that is apt combination of practical usability and space. This MPV will provide enough seating space for 7 adults and still does not look disproportionately very big on the outside. Ertiga is based on the same platform as Ritz; however, it is much wider and heavier. Its extended wheelbase and the additional third row seats have pushed the length of the Ertiga to 4265 mm, well above the critical four-metre length.
A pleasant change in the Ertiga is that it is fitted with brand-new K14 petrol engine. This is the latest version of the K-series petrol engine, which renders power and torque higher than the previous models. The 1.4L VVT engine will have a power output of 95 bhp and torque of 139 Nm. Maruti Suzuki will also equip the Ertiga with the 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine, with Variable Geometry Turbo (VGT) giving a power output of 89 bhp and torque of 200 Nm, which it would share with diesel SX4. Moreover, Ertiga will also be offered in a top-end diesel variant (Zdi), fitted with many advanced features such as the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).
The cost of Ertiga MPV is expected to fall within the price range of Rs. 6 lacs to 9 lacs. Such a competitive pricing, coupled with Maruti Suzuki's image of cars having low running and maintenance costs, Ertiga would be quite popular, believes the automobile experts. Maruti Suzuki has been, and still is, the most dominant passenger car maker in India. Now the company is keen on entering the high volume MPV segment which is currently dominated by the Toyota Innova. Once launched, Ertiga MPV will also compete with Mahindra Xylo and Tata Sumo Grande, prominent names of its segment.
Apart from Ertiga, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. is also planning on launching several new vehicles including the new sub-4 metre Swift Dzire. The company is planning on launching as many as 20 new models in the next 5 years, further cementing its position in the automobile sector.
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