Maruti is turning into a company driven by technology. The transformation may be gradual, the technology may not be Mercedes S-class-threatening and the steps may not be headline-grabbing either. But be under no delusion, if there's one company that's pioneered useable and practical technology today, it's good ol' Maruti.
It was Maruti that democratised the use of fuel injection back in the day with the Zen and it was also the Zen which was the first car in the country to get electric power steering (EPS).
Maruti can be credited for starting an automatic revolution in the country with the production of the single- clutch automatic, or Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) gearbox. Yes, this piece of tech has been around for a long time, but it was Maruti who resurrected it, adapted it for our low-cost conditions and made the tech robust enough to be slapped onto just about any and every car it made. You can have an Alto automatic today that's both efficient and affordable, which would have been unheard of a few years ago. Now that Maruti has got the ball rolling, others are following with AMT options of their own.
Now comes an even larger step: the introduction of its SHVS or proper mild-hybrid technology in the Ciaz diesel. SHVS tech may not be rocket science, but its widespread use and the real-world reduction in fuel economy take the technological game for the Indian car industry forward significantly. The Ciaz SHVS diesel, in fact, is now India's most fuel-efficient car. And it's all down to the tech. Yes, the amount of electrical assist and the amount of fuel saved isn't massive, but this will all change in the not-so-distant future. And next up on Maruti's technological playlist: Boosterjet direct-injection technolog, range extenders and 'plug-in' cars, all coming soon to a Maruti showroom near you. Technology and Maruti – yes, the two go together quite nicely. Here's to more clever, practical and useable tech from India's favourite car company.