Maruti’s latest offering, the Vitara Brezza, which was recently launched only with a diesel engine option, is likely to get a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine to further widen the compact SUV’s appeal. The Brezza with the petrol motor is expected sometime around the festive season later this year.
The current 83.1bhp 1.2-litre petrol motor, which powers a host of its hatchbacks including the popular Swift, could be underpowered for an SUV. Besides, opting for the larger 1.4-litre engine, which does duty on the Ciaz and the Ertiga, wouldn’t be viable since the vehicle would lose out on the tax breaks offered to cars of length below four-metres with an engine capacity below 1,200cc. According to company sources, the 1.0-litre turbo petrol fits the bill perfectly.
“An SUV needs a high torque engine which makes our Boosterjet a good match for the Vitara Brezza” said a company source. “Besides, we import the Boosterjet engine for re-export in the Baleno for global markets. This makes the logistics for sourcing the engine relatively easy” he added. In addition, the Boosterjet will also power the Baleno RS, a sportier version of the hatchback that was showcased at the Delhi Auto Expo last February
The Boosterjet engine, however, will initially be completely imported as the volumes from both the Vitara Brezza and Baleno RS will be too small to make local assembly viable. “You need to be making at least 1,00,000 units a month before you can justify local assembly but we will monitor the demand for this engine which may power future products as well before taking any decision,” said a source. The next-gen Swift (code: YSD) which will be based on the Baleno’s lightweight platform and due in 2017/18 is also likely to get the Boosterjet engine.
The all-new 1.0-litre petrol engine, which belongs to a new ‘Boosterjet’ family of Suzuki engines, is a turbo-charged 996cc petrol motor having a 12-valve, three-cylinder layout producing an impressive 110bhp at 5,500rpm and 17.28kgm of torque at 2,000rpm.
Maruti is also working on improving the fuel efficiency of the 1.0-litre engine which is proving to be a challenge.This is because, since the motor has a turbo, the fuel economy is very sensitive to driving conditions and varies considerably when tested in the ‘regular test cycle’ as opposed to ‘real world conditions’.