The upcoming Maruti Suzuki Vitara midsize SUV and Jimny off-roader will gain AWD system upon their respective launches in India
Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) is firmly focused on strengthening its SUV portfolio locally. The recently launched all-new Brezza will be followed by a midsize SUV developed in collaboration with Toyota while a compact crossover based on the Baleno premium hatchback, India-spec version of the Jimny off-roader and a possible seven-seater flagship SUV waiting in the pipeline.
By the middle of this decade, a midsize electric SUV will be spawned out of the partnership with Toyota as well. More interestingly, the Indo-Japanese manufacturer will reportedly bring in the electric five-seater SUV in 2WD and 4WD guises while the Jimny will indeed be a 4WD model with good off-roading characteristics in mind.
The soon-launching midsize hybrid SUV will also be offered in a four-wheel-drive configuration. Could be christened the Vitara, the SUV will have several commonalities with the recently unveiled Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder and it will likely be revealed in the third week of this month and its mass production will commence in August 2022.
The upcoming Vitara, codenamed YFG, will be powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder K15C mild-hybrid petrol engine producing a maximum power output of 103 PS and 135 Nm of peak torque as in the Hyryder. The powertrain, also found in the new Brezza, updated Ertiga and XL6, will be paired with either a five-speed manual or a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
The 1.5-litre Atkinson Cycle TNGA strong hybrid petrol engine will deliver around 115 PS and it will be linked with a CVT. Just like the Hyryder, the Maruti Suzuki Vitara may as well be sold with a 4WD layout. The Jimny lifestyle off-roader is expected to debut in India sometime next year and it may also be equipped with the 1.5-litre K15C mild-hybrid engine.
Moreover, the power and torque figures could also be similar to the Vitara. It will compete directly against second-generation Mahindra Thar, which is due a five-door variant and the Force Gurkha. It was showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo in its Sierra guise to gauge interest amongst customers but the India-spec version will likely have a larger wheelbase and additional doors.