The highest selling luxury car from Maruti’s product line up has gone under a total transformation. The new Maruti Swift, which will hit markets next month, will be more fuel efficient. It will be available in two variants, one powered by a 1.2l petrol engine, and the other powered by a 1.3l diesel engine.
This model is built on a new, slightly longer platform that is more lighter, roomy, and offers better mileage compared to the current generation model. Apart from this, engineers have even achieved a slight decrease in the total car weight by adding a plastic fuel tank in place of the earlier metal one. This will help to increase fuel efficiency by 13%.
This is one the car’s first major modifications since it became available in the market six years back. The company is yet to share the new model’s pricing details.
This new Swift is to be manufactured at their Manesar facility that was recently thrown in the spotlight because of labour unrests. While the petrol powered variant has a mileage of 20kmpl, the diesel powered variant has a mileage of 23.8kmpl.
The company collaborated with Plastic Omnium, based in France, for installing the new plastic fuel tanks. The France based company is the biggest plastic fuel tank maker in the world.
These tanks are about 25 to 35% lighter in comparison to traditional metal tanks. Apart from that, they are also corrosion resistant, non-explosive, easily recyclable and durable. Maruti Suzuki India entered into a three party venture with Plastic Omnium and Suzuki Motors for manufacturing these fuel tanks at their facility in Manesar.
An official from the industry stated that by opting for the plastic tanks in favour of the traditional metal ones, their general aim was to decrease the Swift’s overall weight. Maruti is also taking other measures for reducing the car’s weight. This was possible because of continuous efforts from the company.
The Inergy Auto Systems Manu Co. was inaugurated at the company’s Manesar facility on Monday. This company will be manufacturing the car’s plastic tank. Maruti is also likely to offer this vehicle with an auto 4 speed gear box for the petrol powered variant, apart from the standard manual 5 speed gear box.
The Swift preferred because of its solid built, big car feel, quality comfort and ride, has been leading the market in the luxury hatchback category in India, in spite of many launches by competing manufacturers.
The current Swift is offered in CNG, diesel and petrol variants, and is priced between INR 3.9 to 5.5 lakhs, selling around 12,000 models per month. The car recorded an increase of 21% in sales in 2010, selling more than 1,40,000 models, compared to previous year’s 1,16,000 units.
The Maruti Swift accounts for 25% share in the hatchback category, competing with the Volkswagen Polo, Hyundai i20, Fiat Punto, Toyota Liva and Nissan Micra. The company is also getting ready to introduce a new DZiRE models that will be priced competitively around early 2012.