Suzuki is developing an all-new diesel engine family that will power a wide range of vehicles, which will include a small pick-up truck (code: Y9T), hatchbacks, saloons and a compact SUV.
This will be Suzuki’s first attempt at developing a diesel engine on its own. The company currently relies on Fiat
for diesel technology, but moving forward; the Japanese car maker doesn’t want to be dependent on another manufacturer and is keen to have its own proprietary diesel technology. Also, the legal tangle between Suzuki and Volkswagen
(the company bought a 20 percent stake in Suzuki in 2009) has meant that other companies have shied away from collaborating with Suzuki on diesel powertrains.
Suzuki’s first diesel engine will be an 800cc, two-cylinder diesel for the Y9T pick-up, which is expected to be launched in early 2015. Developing a diesel engine for the first time will not be easy and Suzuki will wisely test its first diesel engine in a commercial vehicle, where customer expectation is not as high as in passenger car segment. This same engine will be further refined to power a range of hatchbacks
. Suzuki is hoping to climb the learning curve quickly before offering its diesel in passenger cars.
The next big leap will be a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine, which will essentially be derived by joining two of the 800cc, two-cylinder diesels. Mathematically, this would result in a 1.6-litre four-cylinder motor, but it will be downsized to below 1.5 litres for the obvious tax benefits that can be gained.
This 1.5-litre diesel is expected to first power a designed-for-India compact SUV
(code: YBA) which is expected in early 2016. This engine could also power future generations of saloons and bigger hatchbacks.
Another logical derivative of Suzuki’s new diesel engine family would be a 1.1-litre, three-cylinder engine. However, there is no plan to make this configuration yet.