Steep learning curve has pushed back Suzuki’s first four-cylinder diesel to around 2018.
The launch of Suzuki’s in-house developed 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel engine has been postponed to sometime in 2018, instead of 2016. Suzuki had been facing difficulties to achieve the desired levels of refinement and performance achieved in the development stage. The delay could be attributed to these challenges.
The 1.5-litre engine is a part of Suzuki’s new family of in-house developed diesel engines ranging from an 800cc two-cylinder unit to a 1.5-litre four-cylinder one. The engines are an opportunity for the company to step away from its dependence on Fiat for diesel technology.
The 800cc diesel engine, set to make its debut in the Celerio diesel, marks the Japanese automaker’s entry into diesel powertrains. Development for the engine began several years ago with Suzuki spending a lot of time testing the engine to improve refinement and performance for a market launch. The engine in the upcoming Celerio diesel develops a modest 47bhp while giving a mileage of 27.62kpl. A second version of the same engine is set to power the company’s first commercial vehicle (Codename: Y9T) that is set to rival the Tata Ace.
The diesel route has been a bumpy one for Suzuki, especially with the lack of willing collaborators following the company’s legal tangle with Volkswagen, which has made other OEMs shy away. The new 1.5-litre engine is essentially two 800cc engines combined into one with the resulting 1.6-litre unit downsized to 1.5 litres to avail of excise benefits. The company had hoped to take a big leap forward by bringing the new in-house four-cylinder diesel into production early 2016, but a few hiccups in the development stage has caused the company to delay the launch.
This means that the company’s new compact SUV (Codename: YBA) which was set to debut the in-house diesel in 2016 will now be launched with the tried and tested 1.3-litre Multijet engine sourced from Fiat, which currently does duty in every diesel Suzuki model sold in India. The 1.5-litre diesel engine will make its way into the YBA model range sometime in the future, probably with the model’s mid-cycle facelift that is expected two or three years after its launch.
Suzuki has ruled out the option of using a Fiat-sourced 1.5-litre diesel engine, which will make its Indian debut in a future Jeep model, as it is proving too costly.
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