Maruti has finally begun road testing of the long-awaited refreshed Vitara Brezza. The facelift for the compact SUV is likely to debut around the Auto Expo 2020, in February next year - four years from the model's world premiere at Auto Expo 2016, in New Delhi.
While the test mule in the spy shots do not show any major changes, the big update for the Vitara Brezza lies under its hood. The updated SUV will also get a petrol engine for the first time. We broke the news back in April this year about Maruti Suzuki readying a petrol-powered Vitara Brezza for our market.
Suzuki’s latest K15B 1.5-litre engine that made its debut in the Ciaz last year will see duty on the new Vitara Brezza. This 1,462cc engine makes 105hp and 138Nm of torque. Also part of the package will be Suzuki’s Smart Hybrid system, which features an integrated starter generator and dual-battery setup.
Maruti was considering using the 1.0-litre Boosterjet petrol engine, from the Baleno RS, for the Vitara Brezza. However, the turbocharged engine worked out to be expensive and real-world fuel economy too wasn't in line with expectations. Furthermore, the 1.0-litre Boosterjet’s weak bottom-end wouldn't have been in sync with the Brezza's character. The naturally aspirated 1.5-litre motor may not be the most exciting of engines but it does make enough power and promises good fuel efficiency as well. Interestingly, the use of the 1.5-litre petrol engine would mean the Brezza won't qualify for the excise duty sops extended to cars under 4m in length and with engine capacities under 1,200cc (for petrol cars).
The Vitara Brezza 1.5 petrol will come with a 5-speed manual gearbox initially, and Maruti Suzuki has plans to introduce a 4-speed automatic transmission later (the same torque converter gearbox from the Ciaz and Ertiga 1.5 petrol).
The upcoming Vitara Brezza petrol will replace the current diesel-powered model. The company had announced earlier this year that it will stop selling diesel cars from April 1, 2020, due to the upcoming BS6 emission norms.
The new Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza 1.5 petrol will rival the likes of the Hyundai Venue 1.0 turbo-petrol, Ford EcoSport 1.5 petrol, the Tata Nexon 1.2 turbo-petrol and the Mahindra XUV300 1.2 turbo-petrol.