The Concept Future S based production model could be named ‘Zen’ and expect it to be launched in the coming months
Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) has huge plans for the domestic market in the coming years with new launches. Ahead of which upgrading the current portfolio to BSVI standards is also a priority. The largest automaker in the country has already begun the process and introduced the BSVI compliant new 1.2-litre DualJet petrol SHVS engine in the Baleno a few days ago.
The entry-level Alto K10 has also been updated with new standard safety features such as ABS with EBD, driver side airbag, reverse parking sensor and high-speed alert system along with driver and co-driver seat belt reminder in order to comply with the Automotive Industry Standard (AIS) 145 safety regulations.
The Celerio, Celerio X and Eeco have also gained new safety features while the 35-year run of Omni minivan came to an end as its production ceased late last month. Initially expected to be discontinued, the Alto 800 has received minor cosmetic and new feature updates like Smart Play Dock yesterday.
More importantly, the structural changes meant the new Alto 800 will continue to be sold past the October 2019 deadline. The 796 cc petrol engine has also been upgraded to meet BSVI emission regulations with claimed fuel economy of 22.05 kmpl. While the Alto K10 will get the same treatment, in retrospect, this squshes the speculations that the upcoming micro SUV could be called Alto or K10 for that matter.
The Indo-Japanese manufacturer showcased the Concept Future S at the 2018 Auto Expo and the production model based on it was spied testing for the first time earlier this year. As expected, it will compete against the largely unexplored micro SUV space that currently has Mahindra KUV100 while the Tata H2X concept based Hornbill will enter the fray next year.
Maruti Suzuki could be eyeing a big pie in the segment and spy shots indicate that the road-going version has indeed taken design inspiration from the Concept Future S with upright front fascia, thick pillars and a compact rear end with raised ground clearance giving it the appeal of an SUV. The interior boasts a large digital instrument cluster sitting in the middle of the dashboard as seen in the concept as well.
The revival of iconic nameplates has been a recent trend in the industry and Maruti Suzuki could follow the same route to bring back the Zen moniker for the micro SUV. It is expected to go on sale in September or October.