Maruti Suzuki Celerio Cross debuts at the 2016 Delhi Auto Expo; could instigate an affordable hatchback-based crossover segment
Maruti Suzuki Celerio Cross based on the well-received small Celerio hatchback has hit the floor at the ongoing Auto Expo 2016 in Greater Noida. The hatchback-derived crossover segment has gained popularity in recent times with Hyundai i20 Active, Volkswagen Cross Polo and Toyota Etios Cross have warmly been accepted by the burgeoning band of Indian buyers who seek a practical hatchback with added space.
Evidently, the 13th edition of the Indian Auto Expo played host to three leading manufacturers showcasing their crossover concepts. Chevrolet came up with the Beat Activ crossover before Tata Motors lifted the curtain off the Zica Aktiv and both of them were followed by the largest car maker in the country Maruti Suzuki with the Celerio Cross.
General Motors’ Sail range hasn’t replicated the sales numbers the American manufacturer had aimed at and therefore it only made sense to derive a crossover out of the stylish little Beat. Tata Motors’ latest Zica hatchback engendered the Aktiv crossover with a host of new possibilities as the brand actively looking ways to step-foot into every affordable mass segment in the market.
Besides these models, Maruti Suzuki Celerio Cross could spark a genuine threat if the auto maker decides to put it into production as they can spring up a new affordable segment in the crossover space. The Celerio was known for catering an affordable automatic transmission to the first-time buyer’s segment and it could do with a similar strategy courtesy of the showcased Cross model.
The Celerio Cross featured a muscular appearance due to the wider front fascia and sported a restyled front bumper, black painted Outside Rear View Mirrors with turn indicators, front grille finished in matte, body kit, black body cladding on the side skirts, rear-mounted roof spoiler, chrome strip above the number plate, newly designed multi-spoke alloy wheels, etc. The interiors had an all-black colour scheme with contrast red stitching on the seats and steering wheel.
To differentiate the crossover from the hatchback, the inevitable mechanical modification that will be made is a raised up suspension for more ground clearance. The powertrain line-up will remain identical as like the Celerio hatchback with a 998 cc petrol motor developing 67 bhp of maximum power output and 90 Nm of peak torque. The engine will be mated to a five-speed manual or a CVT automatic transmission.