Maruti Suzuki has begun testing its soon-to-be-revealed electric car. Caught testing on the outskirts of Delhi, it is a car that’s been engineered specifically for the Indian market. Based on the Indian version of the Wagon R, and different from the undisguised Japanese or JDM version of the car that was being tested earlier. This is the one that Maruti will eventually sell in India.
Even though it is covered in black camouflage, the new nose is clearly visible. Unlike the current design that has a single integrated headlight and grille, the new nose has a split headlamp setup, with the larger circular headlight unit visible down low. The prototype spied also has high-mounted daytime running lamps, an altered grille now placed lower down, and Maruti also seems to be running it on bigger 175/65 R15 tyres and wheels; the alloys are borrowed from the Wagon R’s sister car – the Ignis. The Wagon R-based EV otherwise shares almost all of its body panels with the conventional hatchback.
What helps identify the car as an EV is the absence of a tail pipe at the rear and the presence of B-mode that’s seen below the gear lever.
In the pictures, the car seems to be undergoing a range test, which currently is the big issue. Maruti will, after all, have to find the perfect compromise between battery price and range.
The JDM cars being tested earlier had a real-world range of around 100km, with a lot depending on driving style. Maruti insiders, however, claim engineers are making progress in the area of regeneration, where tuning the system to match traffic patterns seems to be making a big difference.
Sources in the know inform us that the charging time for the Wagon R EV will be around seven hours with standard AC charging, while DC fast charging will allow an 80 percent charge under an hour. Its fast-charging capability will be a big plus and will add a large degree of flexibility and convenience to the Wagon R EV’s usage.
Maruti Suzuki’s Wagon R EV is expected to be launched sometime next year and there will be a Toyota version of this EV too.
Interior spy shot source