Maruti Suzuki to develop its own line-up of diesel engines

Tuesday 08 October 2013, 12:28 PM by

Maruti Suzuki is reportedly exploring available resources to develop its own family of diesel engines. Clearly, this decision is aimed at an expansion with new launches using in-house diesel engines and also to power vehicles across segments. There are strong rumours that the auto company is planning to roll out an 800 cc engine that could be used in the new Alto. A source, working closely with the development team, had reportedly said, “The diesel engine plan is on the speed lane for Maruti. While the petrol model of the YL7 will be launched first around the Auto Expo, the start of production of the diesel variant is for later part of the year. The YL7 will be exported from India to various markets and, in some, will also be sold as the new Alto.”

Maruti Suzuki to develop its own line-up of diesel engines |
Maruti Suzuki to develop its own line-up of diesel engines

Shinzo Nakanishi, Director, Maruti Suzuki had also confirmed the same, though in a typical top management expert tone. He said, “It's my dream to see a smaller diesel engine. 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.” Maruti Suzuki's first 800 cc diesel engine is expected to enter the Indian automobile market by 2014-15.

India's largest passenger car maker, so far, has been relying on the Fiat's 1-3 multi-jet-diesel engines. Consequently, a wider product portfolio of diesel cars as per the demand of customers and car enthusiasts that prevail in country is still to become a reality. But now, the whole diesel-engine game may change with the auto maker putting in best efforts to build its own family of diesel engines. Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Maruti Suzuki, did confirm the development and said, “For me, rising diesel prices is a big headache. We have already started developing a diesel engine. We are studying how diesel prices will move further in the future. But people will still expect diesel cars in the future.” Notably, the remark mentions the rising demand for diesel cars to get that extra performance and also due to soaring prices of petrol.

According to available information, the auto company is developing a family of 3-4 diesel engines. The most prominent being a 2-cylinder 800 cc diesel engine that is expected to power vehicles codenamed as Y9T (Light Commercial Vehicle) and YL7. There is news that a 3-cylinder 1.2-litre engine along with a 4-cylinder engine with displacement of 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre will also be developed. However, as there are no detailed reports about the same, everything is solely based on rumours and speculations. Notably, the higher end diesel engines, once developed, are likely to power upcoming bigger crossovers and Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) from Maruti Suzuki.

Interestingly, Maruti Suzuki's in-house engines are expected to be complemented by Fiat engines. The auto company is taking key inputs from its Indian subsidiary's Research & Development team to develop its own family of diesel engines. People who are actively involved with the development team for designing diesel engines have reportedly confirmed that the company's endeavour to have its own family of diesel engines can be traced back to the time period between 2009 and 2010. However, the auto maker only started working on the development of a 1.6-litre engine in 2010-2011.

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