A compact crossover/coupe based on the Maruti Suzuki Baleno is reportedly in development and it could be positioned between the Vitara Brezza and S-Presso
A few months ago, a recent report emerged on the internet indicated that Maruti Suzuki is working on a compact SUV based on the successfully running Baleno premium hatchback. This could have come as a surprise for many as the brand already sells the Vitara Brezza in the sub-four-metre SUV segment with good success rate.
The compact SUV in question is said to have been codenamed YTB, and the chances of it having a coupe or compact crossover body style are certainly high. Thus, it could be positioned against Ford Freestyle as the Baleno Cross. Car manufacturers are looking at ways to expand their market share with the addition of new models in the SUV space.
Despite being the largest car producer in the country, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) has not yet brought in a mid-size SUV above the S-Cross and is widely reported to be in the development in collaboration with Toyota. The YTB will more likely be slotted right below the Vitara Brezza and could target volume sales as the Baleno by being in an affordable price range.
The Baleno B2-segment hatchback is underpinned by the fifth generation Heartect architecture that can also be found in the domestic range comprising of Ertiga, Wagon R, S-Presso and others. The platform could be used on the YTB to reduce the production costs and the lightweight nature may aid in offering good fuel economy.
The YTB could undercut the existing compact SUVs like Tata Nexon, Hyundai Venue, Ford EcoSport and Mahindra XUV300 but the Renault Kiger and Nissan Magnite are priced way too aggressively. It was said to be the sister car of Baleno and thus will likely have plenty in common with it including the powertrain.
The Baleno is currently powered by a 1.2-litre K-series four-cylinder DualJet petrol engine producing a maximum power output of 89 bhp at 6,000 rpm and 113 Nm of peak torque at 4,400 rpm. It is paired with a five-speed manual transmission. It will be interesting to see whether Maruti Suzuki will use the same powertrain for the YTB or not upon reported arrival next year.